FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, said on Monday its valuation had risen to $32 billion after a $400 million funding round that included a clutch of heavyweights from traditional finance.
The fresh capital injection shows investors’ enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies even after a crash that erased half of bitcoin’s value over the past two months. Participants in the round included Temasek, Paradigm, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, NEA, IVP, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, Tiger Global, and Insight Partners, among others.
The mega financing comes a few days after its US affiliate joined the crypto unicorn club after closing its first-ever fundraising round. FTX US raised $400 million in Series A funding round at a valuation of $8 billion, putting it on par with those of more established US competitors.
The Series C round is the third fundraise to occur in the past six months for FTX Trading, bringing the total amount raised to $1.8 billion. Most recently, the exchange had seen its valuation climb to $25 billion in October following the closing of Series B-1 funding worth $420 million.
FTX Trading, which launched in 2019, also raised $900 million in July, which was the largest ever for a crypto exchange. Since then, the company says it has grown its user base by nearly 50 percent while its average trade volume increased 75 percent.
The company used the bulk of the funds for mergers and acquisitions. Specifically, FTX has spent close to $1 billion on recent acquisitions, including CFTC-regulated crypto derivatives exchange and clearinghouse, LedgerX.
FTX uses the funds to continue growth acceleration
FTX established its new headquarters in the Bahamas and secured licenses under new regulatory frameworks in the Bahamas and Gibraltar. The expansion effort also included the roll out of its own NFT marketplace, FTX NFTs. With revenue surging more than tenfold this year, these millstones place FTX.COM in a prime position to grow into one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges.
Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, commented on the news: “Our Series C financing round represents a milestone achievement for FTX, as we raised close to $2 billion in six months. This round will support our continued mission of delivering innovative products and services to the marketplace as well as expanding our global reach with additional licenses around the world. With the ongoing support from our dedicated investors and userbase, FTX will look to continue interacting with regulators to facilitate access to digital assets in a safe and compliant manner. We look forward to working alongside our investors to achieve our mission and continue our tremendous growth throughout 2022 and beyond.”
The 30-year-old billionaire has been spending lavishly lately to raise the awareness of FTX brand worldwide. The exchange, which also counts celebrity couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen among its backers, signed a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat.
With fresh capital in hand, FTX plans to utilize the new injection to expand into new jurisdictions, improve upon its current offerings, and further establish itself as a marketplace leader.