As the bankruptcy proceedings begin, Wirecard will terminate half of its 1,300-employee team in Germany. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Wirecard’s digital innovation technology team has abandoned the firm for Berlin-Based fintech finleap.
Founded in 2014 in Berlin by Ramin Niroumand and IONIQ Group, finleap is a software provider offering fintech targeted at banking, insurance, and more. Headquartered in the German capital, finleap has further offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, and Paris. On a mission to “reshape the way consumers and enterprises manage their finances,” finleap has developed 17 fintech companies and acquired several more since its launch. Its companies include solarisBank, ELEMENT, PAIR finance, and others.
Wirecard’s six-strong technology team, led by Joern Leogrande, head of Wirecard’s innovation labs, will join finleap’s developing digital innovation unit supporting digital transformation. The Reuters report further shared that Leogrande (who is globally recognized for digital transformation in Payment) will lead the charge for finleap’s corporate innovation and corporate venture building unit.
In June, Wirecard admitted to a $2 billion hole in its financial statements which led to the former rising star of fintech filing for insolvency. It was found that $3.07 billion was held in overseas accounts that were likely non-existent. Currently, court-appointed administrator Michael Jaffe is working for the company in a bid to recover funds for creditors. So far, a deal in Brazil has been inked with talks of finalizing a UK deal, and a North American one on the way.
The company’s former CEO, Markus Braun, and several other top executives have since been arrested on fraud charges. Prosecutors are holding the executives under suspicion of a criminal racket existing that defrauded creditors of 3.2 billion euros. Despite their refusal to admit wrongdoing, Wirecard AG executive Jan Marsalek is reportedly on the lam. German investigators issued an all-points bulletin to the public last week seeking support in finding the 40-year-old Austrian citizen “strongly suspected of committing billions in commercial gang fraud” alongside a “particularly serious case of embezzlement and other property and economic offences.”