Luno bids goodbye to another one of its leading lights. The news marks the latest in a series of departures from the troubled exchange.
Luno, a cryptocurrency exchange owned by Digital Currency Group, grapples with another high-level departure right after a wave of layoffs. Vijay Ayyar, who joined the firm in its early days and went on to become Vice President of Corporate Development and International, is leaving after seven years. Not all details of the move are public, but it occurs in a context of mass dismissals and financial struggle.
Ayyar joined Luno in May 2016 after several high-level posts at tech and financial firms, according to his LinkedIn page. His past employers include venture capital firm Antler, Google, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a Luno exec in Singapore, he built global partnerships, grew the Asia-Pacific team, and led Luno’s expansion into dozens of markets.
But Luno has not stayed in expansion mode. Ayyar’s departure comes shortly after the company announced it is pulling out of Singapore, where he is still based. Although, Ayyar denies that his exit is related to the move, according to a May 2 CNBC report.
A Luno spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that Ayyar is leaving to pursue a new opportunity in the industry. It is still unknown where Ayyar will work next.
In January, Luno announced a broad restructuring effort. As a result of 2022’s market turbulence, the exchange revealed it would lay off 336 employees. These accounted for 35% of Luno’s workforce across multiple jurisdictions.
The company also lost its co-founder and CTO, Timothy Stranex, last December. As well as its CEO Marcus Swanepoel in March.
Time will tell how Ayyar’s departure will impact Luno, especially as the exchange faces ongoing challenges in the crypto market. No one has been more candid about this than Swanepoel himself.
In January, then-CEO Swanepoel told CNBC, “2022 has been an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market. Luno, unfortunately, hasn’t been immune to this turbulence, which has affected our overall growth and revenue numbers.”
DCG Suffered in 2022
DCG, the parent company of Luno, Genesis, and CoinDesk, has been one of the hardest-hit victims of 2022. The firm disclosed a loss of $1.1 billion for the 2022 financial year. DCG held a reported total cash and cash equivalents of $262 million as of December 31, 2022.
DCG suffered gravely from the crypto market crash and the collapse of Three Arrows Capital’s crypto hedge fund, which defaulted on a loan to Genesis, then the firm’s lending platform.
But DCG’s woes don’t end there. DCG risks a default on a $630 million dollar loan it owes to Genesis and in theory is to repay this month.
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