Nuri board member on bankruptcy: "That was the death knell for us"

Financial startups that specialize in cryptocurrencies are currently having a hard time.

Nuri board member on bankruptcy: "That was the death knell for us"

Financial startups that specialize in cryptocurrencies are currently having a hard time. Crypto bank Nuri experienced boom and bankruptcy within a year. In the new episode of "So techt Germany", CEO Kristina Walcker-Mayer explains how things should continue.

Barely three months in office as product manager, Kristina Walcker-Mayer was asked if she would like to take on the post of CEO of crypto bank Nuri (formerly Bitwala). "It was also very sudden for me," recalls the manager in the ntv podcast "So techt Deutschland". But she took "all the beautiful sides of CEO life with her," because the offer came "just before crypto really took off."

For a year it was then a matter of hiring people, recruiting executives and collecting investor funds. Then came the recession fears and the crash: "This year I went through the negative aspects of being a CEO," says Walcker-Mayer. In just a few months, Nuri experienced the full cycle of a company from peak to bust. The startup had to file for bankruptcy last August.

The situation for fintech companies has not been good since the beginning of the year, says Walcker-Mayer in the podcast. "Many fintech valuations plummeted earlier this year." In the spring, Nuri changed strategy: away from growth towards profitability. "At the same time, we started looking for a buyer in April," says the manager. When the US partner Celsius Network stopped customer payments and later filed for bankruptcy itself, "that was the death knell for us," says Walcker-Mayer, summarizing the collapse.

In the meantime, however, Nuri has regained hope. According to insolvency administrator Jesko Stark, initial talks with several investors have been encouraging. When asked, he said that interest had been expressed in the digital platform for banking transactions with more than 200,000 customers. "Nuri needs fresh financial resources above all, but not everything has to stay the same," says Stark, who is working on a solution for the 141 employees and a continuation of the business.

Nuri boss Walcker-Mayer is also hoping for a happy ending. "I think I can manage crises," she says in the podcast. She does everything to ensure that the company can continue to work. The existence of crypto fintechs like Nuri depends on the future of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Kristina Walcker-Mayer regularly reports on her experiences as CEO of Nuri in columns in Business Punk magazine. Business Punk and ntv.de are subsidiaries of RTL Germany.

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