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Finder workers sacked after crypto loss: Staff shocked

Rich Lister and self-proclaimed ‘crypto king’ is forced to sack workers at his company Finder after losing big on digital currencies

  • Finder sacks 15 per cent of workforce
  • Founded by ‘crypto king’ Fred Schebesta
  • He recently lost big after investing in cryptocurrencies 

Australian tech company Finder has been forced to 15 per cent of its workforce, with contractors, freelancers and permanent full-time workers all impacted.

The company, founded by self-proclaimed ‘crypto king’ Fred Schebesta, announced the news to staff yesterday afternoon.

One of the staff member’s impacted by the cuts, videographer Tobias Venus said he had been ‘abruptly’ sacked after working for the company for more than four years.

Finder was founded by ‘crypto king’ Fred Schebesta

‘I (and quite a few others) am redundant at Finder today,’ Mr Venus wrote on Twitter.

‘I’ve been at Finder for over 4 years and to be let go so abruptly is frankly, pretty devastating and kind of shocking because it really came out of nowhere.’

A spokesperson for Finder said around 15 per cent of jobs are set to go in the company, which employs around 500 people globally.

‘Our immediate priority as a company is very much to support impacted crew,’ 

‘We will continue to do everything we can – including career, wellbeing and financial support – to help anyone who may leave Finder to thrive in what comes next.

‘We remain firmly focused on the future growth of the comparison business in our core markets and building our membership proposition.’

Last August, Mr Schebesta admitted he had lost ‘quite a lot of money after the Luna/Terra cryptocurrencies collapsed.   

‘In the recent Luna crash, I lost quite a bit of money from that,’ Mr Schebesta, said.

‘I was not feeling good about it, I even questioned my ability to invest in crypto.’

He had previously claimed Terra was a ‘beast to be reckoned with’ and it was among his top investment picks. 

The staff cuts come after Finder booked a comprehensive loss of $27million for the 2022 financial year. The year prior it recorded a $1.6million profit.

In December, ASIC commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against the company for allegedly providing unlicensed financial services through it’s product Finder Earn, which essentially acted as a debenture.

Customers could donate Australian dollars into their Finder Wallets, before it was converted into cryptocurrency. 

Finder then used this money as its own working capital and paid customers a return of between 4 and 6 per cent. 

ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court said: ‘Issuers of financial products such as debentures must issue appropriate risk disclosure documents and develop appropriate target market determinations to ensure customers are not sold inappropriate products. We allege Finder Wallet failed to do this, potentially putting their customers at risk of harm.’

The Finder Earn product was closed last month, after the company claimed rising interest rates were making it less attractive to investors.


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