Troubled Lender Babel Finance Reportedly Hires US Investment Bank Houlihan Lokey

Reported engagement with the restructuring and merger and acquisition specialist follows liquidity issues at crypto lender Babel Finance


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • Babel Finance abruptly suspended withdrawals on June 17 due to “unusual liquidity pressures”
  • Houlihan Lokey focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring and valuation

Crypto lender Babel Finance is reportedly hiring US investment bank Houlihan Lokey a few weeks after suspending withdrawals amid liquidity issues.  

The company will be the next major crypto company “getting buy-in from creditors or declaring insolvency or default,” a person familiar with the matter told CoinDesk.

A spokesperson for Babel Finance declined to comment. Houlihan Lokey did not immediately return Blockworks’ request for comment. 

Babel Finance abruptly suspended withdrawals on June 17 — citing “unusual liquidity pressures” — similar to competitors Celsius, Finblox and CoinFLEX. The company said in a statement last week that it was looking to fulfill its legal responsibilities to customers by continuing “to avoid further transmission and diffusion of liquidity risks.” 

Houlihan Lokey focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring and valuation, according to its website.

Launched in 2018, Babel Finance provides institutions, high-net worth accredited investors and crypto miners with lending and trading services in bitcoin, ether and stablecoins.

The company raised $80 million at a $2 billion valuation in May. Main investors in the round included Jeneration Capital and 10T Holdings, as well as existing shareholders Dragonfly Capital and BAI Capital.

Blockworks confirmed this week a slew of firings and voluntary resignations from Babel. Yulong Liu, who served as head of partnerships at the company for nearly three years, and communications director Jacynth Wang are among those set to leave.

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