Richard Olsen's statement in response to a recent article published about Lykke
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As CEO of Lykke, I am both personally and professionally disappointed at the article published this morning on Insideparadeplatz which is lacking in factual accuracy and threatens to derail the Lykke project, the security of our staff, and, most importantly, our customers based on hearsay and rumour.
The author of the article contacted me in the past days with several queries related to the content of the article published this morning. Far from being defensive, I in fact offered to meet him for a one-on-one interview to provide the clarity sought on these issues once and for all, and to show that Lykke has nothing to hide. I noted, owing to several commitments, my preference if this interview could take place during the upcoming week so that these matters could be treated properly and with the time needed to provide clarity. Unfortunately, I received no response from the author and instead see that the article has been published today without the required clarification.
While we have several pressing strategic matters that require the full attention of myself and my team, I would still like to take this opportunity to engage some of the items mentioned in this article.
Firstly as it relates to staff matters, it is factually incorrect that all employees have been served their notice as stated by the author. Owing to strategic transformation and restructuring in compliance with applicable laws several employees have either left Lykke or are in the process of leaving. Similar to any organisation, in particular fintech start ups, this is not the first time we have parted ways with staff members and unfortunately, it is unlikely to be the last. The current restructuring phase is still ongoing and we will have further staff departures by the end-November: all affected staff are aware of this and everything has been handled within the applicable laws and regulations. Some of the staff that Lykke parted ways with were indeed senior members of leadership. As any CEO will attest to, it is not unusual, but rather a reality of doing business: it is not the first time and it is unlikely to be the last. In short, there is nothing incorrect or unusual at hand in this regard, despite the indications of this article.
Secondly, in regards to the status of investment and the financial situation of Lykke, under my leadership, we have always been transparent about our finances insofar as has been permitted under laws and regulations. The author makes reference by name to specific individuals and specific investment amounts. The amount of investment referenced here is factually incorrect. Of course, as any professional operating in the financial industry knows, we are not permitted to share details about individual investors or their respective investments owing to prevailing laws about privacy, amongst others. The balance sheet extract illustrated in the article is public information that has been published by Lykke on our website and communicated regularly to coinholders in detail at our annual meetings. The author infers that there is a funding gap of 40 million CHF which is again factually inaccurate and deeply misleading. The investment capital funding that Lykke has received has been overstated by the author and again, the specific liabilities to investors inferred in the article do not in fact exist at all. In relation to the immediate financial situation, it is true that the September salaries of the staff were paid after receiving a capital injection from investors. Lykke makes no secret of the fact that we are still leaning on investment to fund our efforts: this is the norm, not the exception for fintech start ups such as Lykke.
Thirdly, Lykke has from the outset strived for operating as a regulated entity and applied to FINMA for a license as a securities trader and organised trading facility. Lykke is very close to getting such a license. Many competitors with much more funding have not come that far.
Lykke welcomes public scrutiny and values the contribution of independent and inquisitive journalism to driving progress. With this in mind, while I find the contents of this article damaging and disappointing in its lack of grounding in facts and research, it serves to highlight the fact that Lykke has nothing to hide and will continue to place transparency and democratization of information at the heart of our mission.