Coinbase-backed Vauld becomes the latest crypto lender to pause withdrawals
Vauld had previously said it had no exposure to the "crypto contagion" and was sufficiently liquid. However, it now announces a pause on withdrawals and the possibility of restructuring.
Vauld announced July 4 that it will immediately suspend withdrawals, trading, and deposits on the platform due to volatile market conditions and the impact on key business partners.
The statement also mentioned that users had withdrawn $197.7 million since June 12 due to mounting fears over CeFi lenders the same day Celsius announced similar actions to “stabilize liquidity and operations.”
At this stage, it is unclear whether Vauld has bad debts and is facing default or margin calls it cannot meet.
Vauld explores restructuring
Vauld said it had hired a team of advisors to explore the possibility of restructuring the company to protect stakeholders’ interests.
“In furtherance of this, we have engaged the services of Kroll Pte Limited as our financial advisor, as well as Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP as our legal advisors in India and Singapore respectively.”
A message from Vauld co-founder Darshan Bathija via the company’s Twitter account reiterated the intent to find “the best resolution for our customers.”
We've strived to be an excellent crypto lending platform. This has been our goal from day one. We’re committed to finding the best resolution for our customers.
A message from @darshanbathija 🧵
— Vauld (@VauldOfficial) July 4, 2022
On June 16, as the Celsius saga was blowing up, Vauld tweeted it was business, implying that its “balanced and conservative approach” and “fundamentally strong strategies” stand it in good stead.
The accompanying blog post stated that Vauld has no exposure to Three Arrows Capital or Celsius, and it remains sufficiently liquid.
Vauld continues to operate as usual
"We have always maintained a balanced and conservative approach to liquidity management. Bull and bear runs are inevitable, and we deploy fundamentally strong strategies that account for these cycles."
Read more here: https://t.co/6yWVozTydE
— Vauld (@VauldOfficial) June 16, 2022
The story unravels
Days later, on June 21, Vauld announced a 30% cut in its workforce, according to Money Control.
Bathija said the cuts would primarily affect marketing and talent acquisition roles. But axed employees will receive two-months pay, 12 months of health insurance, and help to find new employment.
“Two months of their salaries paid as a severance payment and retain their signing and/or joining bonus, 12 months health insurance for them and their family, and our talent team working closely with them to find a great place to work.”
Commenting in general terms, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said VC-funded platforms tend not to have established “real business model[s].”
Unpopular opinion: careful when using platforms that require VC funding, they often don't have a real business model yet.
(over generalization, there are exceptions of course)https://t.co/lI1pvdPdKr
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 4, 2022
Vauld raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, with Coinbase Ventures participating, in July 2021. Other prominent VC investors in the firm include Pantera and Robot Ventures.