Berlin-based neobank Nuri has officially closed down the shop, citing “insuperable” challenges, which kept the firm from raising new funds or finding an acquirer.
Formerly known as Bitwala, Nuri filed for insolvency in August this year after letting go of 20% of its workforce as the firm struggled with the rout in cryptocurrency prices.
According to Nuri, the firm has worked “very closely” with its insolvency administrators on a restructuring plan since then, trying to find a potential acquirer.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to find investors to continue our mission and have asked our customers to withdraw their funds by 18/12/2022 the latest, so the business can be terminated and liquidated,” CEO Kristina Walcker-Mayer wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Nuri also referred to the now-bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius—“one of our main business partners,”—the insolvency of which “worsened the situation significantly and put us over the edge.”
The firm ensured customers that all the assets in their accounts were safe and unaffected by the company’s insolvency—and that they can continue crypto trading until the end of November.
Bitwala - end of a dream
Before rebranding to Nuri in May 2021, Bitwala has been operating since 2015, offering users the convenience of a regular bank account combined with Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets.
Some perks offered by the company included saving plans via recurring Bitcoin purchases, as well as Nuri Pots—a collection of different exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other investment products.
Nuri expanded its Series B funding round to $23.5 million (€24 million) in June 2021, reporting more than 250,000 customers in 32 countries at the time.
“Nuri looked beyond old boundaries, leveraging new technologies, including blockchain and decentralized finance to open up a wide range of possibilities for anyone to manage and grow their money,” said Walcker-Maye.
While regretting that Nuri wasn’t able to continue writing its story, Walcker-Maye said she still believes “in the endless possibilities of blockchain-based finance” that will “add true value to the lives of people.”
The harsh reality, however, is that as many as 215 Nuri employees—according to the company’s LinkedIn profile—are now set to lose their jobs.