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Wall street traders turn crypto start-up into $1 billion company

Wall street traders turn crypto start-up into $1 billion company

A group of ex traders from Morgan Stanley have seen their crypto company Amber Group become a $1 billion company after a recent series B fund raise made another $100 million from investors such as Coinbase Global Inc. and Pantera Capital. 

It was reported in an article earlier today on Bloomberg, that Amber trades Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies with clients' funds together with its own capital. The fact that it is run by ex-Morgan Stanley traders means that a lot of the strategies honed on Wall Street have been brought to bear in the realm of crypto. 

Five of these traders founded Amber back in 2018, they are: Michael Wu, Tiantian Kullander, Wayne Huo, Tony He and Luke Li. They all worked together on Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income trading floor, based in Hong Kong. The other member of the 6-man founding team is Thomas Zhu, a Bloomberg LP developer. 

Further back in 2015, the team developed their own side project in algorithmic trading of Chinese stocks and index futures. Eventually they pivoted into crypto and concentrated on arbitrage opportunities, making this a full-time venture. 

Now the company has 300 employees from the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Goldman Sachs. The company currently manages $1.5 billion in trading capital and projects its income to increase ten times to $500 million by the end of this year. 

According to Chief Financial Officer Kullander, Amber has always been profitable and currently has a net margin of 60%. The company strategy is to trade Bitcoin volatility rather than its ups and downs.  

So far this year it has made $60 million in revenue for the first quarter, and the same again just in April alone. According to Kyle Lui, a partner with DCM Ventures, who have invested into Amber, the company is in crypto for the long term, regardless of downturns, such as the most recent. 

The recent $100 million fund raise also included investors such as Tiger Global Management, China Renaissance Group, Tiger Brokers, and Gobi Partners. Amber Group have stated that it still holds around a 60% stake after this round. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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