Vauld Stops Withdrawals, Eyes Restructure After Users Pull Nearly $200M
Cryptocurrency lender Vauld is now exploring restructuring options and applying for a moratorium after laying off 30% of its staff in June.
- Vauld cited tough market conditions and financial struggles of business partners as reasons for its difficulties
- A moratorium will “give us breathing space to carry out the proposed restructuring exercise,” CEO Darshan Bathija said
Due to knock-on effects of subdued cryptocurrency prices, Singapore-based lending platform Vauld has suspended withdrawals, trading and deposits on its network.
In a Monday blog, CEO Darshan Bathija flagged that the company has seen significant customer withdrawals since June 12, totaling $198 million.
Vauld has faced challenges due to volatile market conditions and financial woes of business partners exacerbated by TerraUSD’s collapse, Celsius’ withdrawal freeze and Three Arrows Capital’s loan defaults, he added.
“As such, we have considered that it would be in the best interests of stakeholders to take immediate action in the circumstances,” Bathija said.
Launched in 2018, Vauld offers users asset-backed lending and borrowing, similarly to distressed platforms such as Celsius, Voyager and BlockFi. It also maintains a crypto exchange to allow trading.
Vauld’s most-recent fundraising round was in July 2021, when it raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. The firm also counts Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Compound Labs CEO Robert Leshner and others among investors.
Vauld has ominously appointed Asia Pacific consulting unit Kroll as its financial advisor to explore potential restructuring options, according to the blog. It has also hired Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas in India and Rajah & Tann in Singapore as legal advisors.
The company plans to apply to Singapore courts for a moratorium — a legal procedure linked to insolvency that a company pursues while working on an arrangement with creditors. This will be done to “give us breathing space to carry out the proposed restructuring exercise,” Bathija said.
He added Vauld’s withdrawal freeze will allow the company to explore the feasibility of restructuring options, in consultation with legal and financial advisers.
“Specific arrangements will be made for customer deposits as may be necessary for certain customers to meet margin calls in connection with collateralized loans,” he said.
Vauld suffering the same fate as rival crypto lenders
Vauld’s dire announcement comes about two weeks after the company laid off 30% of its staff and planned to pull back executive compensation by 50%.
A rising number of cryptocurrency firms have been ceasing activity on their platforms ever since Celsius first did so, leaving users anxious about their funds.
Crypto lender Voyager said on Friday that it would suspend trading, deposits, withdrawals and loyalty rewards while it seeks “strategic alternatives.” FinBlox imposed a partial withdrawal freeze earlier in June. CoinFLEX’s freeze on withdrawals was expected to last until June 30, but they hadn’t resumed as of press time.
Sheraz Ahmed, managing partner at STORM Partners said the short-term outlook for the industry doesn’t look too positive. “As we head into the summer, and holiday season begins, we may venture deeper into a crypto winter,” he told Blockworks via Telegram.
“There are continually periods of ups and downs in any nascent or even mature industry. We shouldn’t woe during the lows, just like we’re told to not FOMO at the highs.”
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