Babel Finance Suffers Executive Exits Amid Liquidity Crunch
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  • Babel Finance executives are jumping ship as the firm grapples with a shortage of funds
  • Head of partnerships Yulong Liu and director of communications Jacynth Yang will exit soon

A mixture of firings and voluntary resignations made up a round of recent exits from embattled crypto lender Babel Finance, Blockworks has learned. Departures are still underway, a source familiar with the matter said.

Babel’s wave of employee exits was first reported by The Block. Blockworks independently confirmed that among those leaving in the near future are Yulong Liu, who served as head of partnerships at Babel for nearly three years, and director of communications Jacynth Wang.

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Liu’s LinkedIn profile appears to be deleted, while Wang’s shows she’s been employed at Babel for three months. Liu could not be reached and Wang didn’t respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.

Hong Kong-based Babel also lost branding lead Yiwei Wang. He told Blockworks he left voluntarily in mid-April for new opportunities, and indicated other employee exits were influenced by difficult market conditions.

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. Among its backers are Sequoia Capital China, Tiger Global Management and Dragonfly Capital.

Blockworks confirmed that other employees have left Babel’s partnerships team led by Liu. These include global partnership directors Sean Yang and Xavier Xiang, and another member of the same team, Yuchen Jiang. After working at Babel for less than a year, all three left in June. Blockworks hasn’t received independent confirmation on whether they left voluntarily.

Other key hires have reportedly deleted their LinkedIn profiles. Among them are head of lending Lei Tong, and managing director and chief operating officer Ryan Wu.

The departures come as Babel faces a critical shortage of funds. The lender abruptly suspended withdrawals on June 17 — citing “unusual liquidity pressures” — similar to competitors Celsius, Finblox and CoinFLEX. Shortly after, Babel announced steps to manage its liquidity status, but it hasn’t provided an update on this matter since.

In any case, Babel joins a string of companies in the crypto industry that have lost staff recently. BlockFi said it would cut 20% of its workforce; Coinbase lost 18%; Gemini cut 10%; and laid off 5%.

Babel reportedly had 170 employees as of May, but its LinkedIn page now shows 44 people work there. This number might be partly affected by deleted profiles. 

The firm, which had roughly 500 institutional clients as of May, recently raised $80 million at a $2 billion valuation. At the end of 2021, it held an outstanding loan balance of over $3 billion, according to press materials.

Babel Finance didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment.

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    Shalini is a crypto reporter from Bangalore, India who covers developments in the market, regulation, market structure, and advice from institutional experts. Prior to Blockworks, she worked as a markets reporter at Insider and a correspondent at Reuters News. She holds some bitcoin and ether. Reach her at [email protected]

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