Crypto Payments Company Wyre Reportedly Shutting Down Due to Market Downturn, Recently Valued at $1.5 Billion – Bear Market Getting Worse?
Wyre, a cryptocurrency payment firm previously valued at $1.5 billion, has announced to its employees that the business will be unwinding over the next couple of weeks.
As reported by Axios, CEO Ioannis Giannaros sent an email to select employees over the holidays stating that the company would be liquidated.
However, contrary to these claims, Giannaros was quoted by Axios as stating that,
“We’re still operating but will be scaling back to plan our next steps.”
Cryptonews.com reached out to Wyre for comment.
Meanwhile, a former employee allegedly claimed that, as there were no offers made for severance packages so far, the workers are concerned that the company may not be providing any.
Another former employee, Michael Staib, who worked at Wyre between September 2021 and January 2023, wrote on LinkedIn that,
“Well, I thought I could get back on track. But it seems life has more challenges for me to complete. In my opinion, Wyre won’t continue as a profitable business.”
Meanwhile, Wyre raised $29.1 million in 9 funding rounds from 28 investors, including FJ Labs, Samsung NEXT, Kraken, Draper Associates, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Pantera Capital, Stellar Development Foundation, and others.
In April 2022, checkout and shopper network company Bolt announced an agreement to acquire Wyre, in a deal that was reported to be worth $1.5 billion. However, in September, this deal was scrapped by mutual agreement. “Instead, Wyre will enter into a commercial agreement with Bolt to implement Wyre’s one-click solution for the Bolt customer platform,” the announcement said at the time.
The reason behind Wyre’s decision to cut its workforce and then shutter the business seems to be the ongoing winter in the crypto market. This would not be surprising as a number of companies made the same moves over the past few months for this exact reason, often in combination with the effects caused by a string of major companies and projects in the space imploding, including Terra/LUNA, Celsius Network, Three Arrows Capital, and quite a few others – culminating with the fall of the FTX exchange.
Bobby Ong, COO and co-founder of CoinGecko, commented on the news of the layoffs at Wyre and its shutdown, suggesting that this is a sure sign that the crypto winter continues in the new year.
3 Jan was the first day of work in 2023, but for some it was not a pleasant first day.— Bobby Ong (@bobbyong) January 4, 2023
Wyre informed staff that it was shutting down operations by end-Jan. Employees losing jobs, clients losing services, investors losing money.
$1.5b valuation to $0. The crypto winter continues
There were also comments about the Bolt deal getting axed, as well as Wyre’s previous $1.5 billion valuation, with some arguing that there could be more to this story than just the freezing crypto season.
Yeah, something doesn't add up as to why they couldn't find another acquirer after the Bolt acquisition fell through— Bobby Ong (@bobbyong) January 4, 2023
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