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FTX Crypto Exchange Valued at $18B in $900M Funding Round

Sam Bankman-Fried's exchange is bringing on the largest funding round in crypto history to fuel expansion.

Jul 20, 2021 at 5:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:28 p.m. UTC

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange has raised the largest funding round in crypto history.

The exchange’s $900 million Series B round included more than 60 investors, including Paradigm, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia, according to a company announcement.

FTX has been spending lavishly lately to get its brand out to the wider world. From multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals with the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat to a tie-up with Major League Baseball, FTX has plowed earnings from crypto's most recent bull run in a bid to market itself to those who are curious about cryptocurrencies.

The new round of funding signals that bitcoin's recent dip below $30,000 has far from halted venture capital's rush to back the next Coinbase, the crypto exchange that went public in April with a market cap of about $86 billion.

"It was a long process, but in the end, what mattered was getting a chance to talk about what FTX has been and where we're going," Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk via email.

He said the funding will go toward new products, "both globally and in the U.S."

As for a potential public listing, he added: "We want to be prepared and ready in case we decide to go for it, but we don't have imminent plans."

Bankman-Fried, a 29-year-old billionaire, founded FTX in 2019. The exchange has 1 million users and is averaging $10 billion of daily trading volume, it said Tuesday.

"Sam Bankman-Fried is one of those special founders whose vision is both stunningly ambitious and uniquely adapted to the future of crypto," Matt Huang, who co-founded Paradigm with Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, said in a statement. "The team's execution speaks for itself, with FTX growing to become a top global exchange in two years."

Other investors in the round included Thoma Bravo, SoftBank, Insight Partners, Third Point, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Altimeter Capital, BOND, NEA, Coinbase Ventures, Willoughby Capital, 40North, Senator Investment Group, Sino Global Capital, Multicoin Capital, the Paul Tudor Jones family, Izzy Englander, Alan Howard, VanEck, Hudson River Trading and Circle, according to Tuesday's press release.

The previous largest round for a crypto firm was a $440 million raise for Circle in May. Earlier this month, the financial services firm announced its intention to go public in a deal with a special purpose acquisition company worth $4.5 billion.

Update (July 20, 18:23 UTC): Adds comments from FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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