Sam Bankman-Fried Cashed Out $300M in Previous Funding Round: Report

In a previously undisclosed detail, most of the $420 million raised in October 2021 went directly to Bankman-Fried, according to the Wall Street Journal.

AccessTimeIconNov 18, 2022 at 8:38 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:03 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried personally received $300 million from a $420 million funding round for the company in October 2021, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cited FTX financial records it had reviewed, as well as people familiar with the transaction.

The arrangement was previously undisclosed, with Bankman-Fried telling investors at the time it was partially to reimburse him for money he’d spent to buy out Binance’s stake in FTX a few months earlier, the Journal reported.

In July 2021, Bankman-Fried bought out the approximately 15% of FTX owned by Binance, which was FTX’s first investor. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted this month that the amount of the buyout was $2.1 billion in Binance’s stablecoin BUSD and FTX’s exchange token FTT.

The October 2021 funding round valued FTX at $25 billion and raised money from financial heavyweights such as BlackRock, Tiger Global, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Sequoia Capital. A few months later, some of those same investors helped raise $400 million for FTX's U.S. subsidiary at an $8 billion valuation.

According to the Journal, it was unclear what Bankman-Fried did with the $300 million, while FTX's 2021 audited financial statements said the money was being kept by the company for "operational expediency" on behalf of a "related party."

UPDATE (Nov. 18, 20:58 UTC): Added information about FTX US fundraise.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nelson Wang

Nelson Wang was CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.