Nexo to pay $46.5 million in US settlement
Bulgarian company Nexo has reached an agreement with US authorities regarding its regulatory problems in the country. Without admitting wrongdoing, the company will pay a total of $46.5 million in fines and will be banned from operating as a securities operator in New York state for five years. Nexo itself has confirmed its plans to exit the US market altogether.
The total amount that Nexo must pay as a fine is divided into three: $22.5 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), $22.5 million in fines to all US states and territories (424,528 each), as well as an additional $1.5 million in a settlement specifically with the New York State Attorney's Office, which had a leading role in the legal action against the company.
Vitosha Venture Partners closes 3 startup deals
The Bulgarian fund-manager of the state-backed Fund of Funds Vitosha Venture Partners has invested a total of 125 000 euros in three startup companies. In a pre-seed round, mental health app RelaxifyApp raised €25,000, while software Pleggi and combat sports platform Fight Scout raised €50,000 each for less than a 10% stake in the companies.
Typically, Vitosha Venture Partners, whose current investment mandate is due to end at the end of 2023, invests in startups in the pre-seed or seed stage of development, with the former receiving between 15 and 50 000 euros, and investments in seed rounds reaching up to 1 000 000 euros. In 2022, the fund concluded 15 deals, and in the first 6 months of 2023, it plans to close another 25.
Winter resorts hit by warm weather and high costs
Bulgarian winter resorts found themselves opening the ski season this December with no snow and few working slopes. "We are opening the season without snow," Ivan Obreykov, manager of the Bansko ski area, admitted on December 17. Over the past month, the unusually warm winter forced a number of ski resorts in the Alps not to open, putting the Bulgarian ski resorts to the test as well.
The warmer winter comes with record costs as well. Bulgaria's winter resorts have witnessed between 30% and 150% growth in costs across different segments, including food supplies. Labor costs in the segment have risen by about 30%, while maintenance and technical operation costs have increased by an average of 40%, resort owners calculate.