The venture capital arm of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been a prominent investor in some of the biggest names in the crypto ecosystem. With Binance's possible acquisition of its rival FTX, questions swirl around what will happen to these investments.
Among the biggest names in which FTX Ventures invested were Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle, layer 1 blockchains Near Protocol and Sui, crypto lender BlockFi and two different funding rounds for the Aptos blockchain, according to crypto data analytics firm Cryptorank. The exact number of investments by FTX Ventures are unknown.
FTX has been linked closely with the embattled BlockFi. The U.S. arm of FTX gave the strained lender a $400 million credit line with FTX getting the option to acquire BlockFi for up to $240 million.
In September, FTX Ventures agreed to buy 30% of SkyBridge Capital for an undisclosed amount after the investment firm was dinged by the bear market. SkyBridge – founded by Anthony Scaramucci, a one-time aide to former U.S. President Donald Trump – planned to use some of the infusion to buy $40 million in cryptocurrencies to put on its balance sheet as a long-term investment.
Tiger Global, SoftBank headaches
The FTX turmoil could also cause more headaches for investors in the cryptocurrency exchange, particularly the already weakened Tiger Global Management and SoftBank Vision Fund.
Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global hedge fund participated in a $420 million round for FTX in October 2021 at a $25 billion valuation and returned for a January funding round at a $32 billion valuation. Amid those investments, Tiger Global entered the year with too much exposure to both equities and China and worked to rebalance its portfolio. The fund still lost 5.4% last month despite in increase in global equity markets, according to Bloomberg.
SoftBank Vision Fund was another returning investor for FTX’s January 2022 funding round. The Japanese conglomerate is one of the world’s largest backers of technology companies through its investment arm, which includes two Vision Fund vehicles and a Latin America fund. However, the investing arm reported $50 billion in losses during the first six months of this year, largely attributed to bear market losses for publicly-traded investments such as Uber and Opendoor.
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