FTX Exchange Raises $900M At $18B Valuation; Binance Is Out, Coinbase and Many Big Giants Are In


Two-year-old cryptocurrency derivatives platform FTX has completed a series B fundraising round, the largest private equity round in the industry of a whopping $900 million.

With this, FTX now has a valuation of $18 billion, up from a mere $1.2 billion a year ago. This may feel fast, but it is the world “going in slow motion” while FTX is “going normal speed,” according to the founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

This makes sense given that FTX is the most rapidly growing business in the cryptocurrency space which has signed multiple high-profile marketing deals [Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen Ambassadors, MLB Partnership, eSports Team TSM, FTX Arena, and Blockfolio Acquisition] to spread the word. The company also plans to use this fresh capital to expand its product offerings and for other investments.

“The primary goal of the raise was to [find] strategic allies who can help FTX grow its brand,” but the capital itself will be primarily used for acquisitions, said Bankman-Fried.

With this latest funding, 29-year old CEO Bankman-Fried, who previously worked for quantitative-trading giant Jane Street Capital LLC, has seen his riches grow by at least $7.9 billion.

Bankman-Fried who owns 57% of the company shares is now worth $16.2 billion and is the wealthiest known crypto billionaire, as per Forbes.

More than 60 Participants

The exchange raised the funds from a vast number of big names, more than 60, that includes the Paul Tudor Jones family, British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb’s Third Point, private equity giant Thomas Bravo, another hedge-fund billionaire Israel Englander, and SoftBank Group.

Paradigm, Sino Global Capital, Circle, VanEck, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Altimeter, BOND, NEA, Willoughby Capital, 40North, Senator Investment Group, Multicoin, and Hudson River Trading also participated.

“Absolutely ecstatic to let you know that Sino Global Capital participated in FTX's Series B round (in retrospect, it was inevitable),” tweeted Matthew Graham, CEO at Sino Global Capital.

“Today, SBF is no longer merely a titan of crypto. He's now a titan of business, and he and our good friends at FTX are just getting started.”

Exchanges Making Strategic Investment

Amidst this, leading crypto exchange Binance recently exited its position in FTX. Binance made a strategic investment of an undisclosed sum in FTX in December 2019.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth from them, we're very happy with that but we’ve exited completely,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

“CZ” told Forbes that the withdrawal was part of “a normal investment cycle” and it was on good terms. “We're still friends but we no longer have any equity relationship,” he said.

Coinbase meanwhile joined in through its investment firm Coinbase Ventures.

Coinbase recently made its debut on Nasdaq with an evaluation that briefly went past $100 billion and marked the Bitcoin top but FTX has no such plans yet. While “actively thinking about,” Bankman-Fried has no idea how this will end exactly, not to mention, there’s no “ticking clock on our need to go public.”

FTX has a native token FTT, a $3 billion market cap coin trading at $27.91, currently down over 56% from its all-time high above $63 two months back.

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