Crypto exchange FTX, co-founded by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, is reportedly looking into raising a new round of capital after its recent spending spree added new digital assets marketplaces to the fold.
FTX and FTX US are both raising fresh capital, people familiar with the matter who aren’t authorized to discuss ongoing discussions told Bloomberg on July 20.
According to the report, FTX is targeting a funding round at the same valuation as its January round, when it raised $400 million at a $32 billion valuation, while FTX US raised an additional $400 million at an $8 billion valuation.
Bankman-Fried committed about $1 billion during the digital asset rout that saw a $2 trillion drop in market value in eight months. He acquired crypto lending platform BlockFi, tried to save Voyager Digital with a large loan, and has anonymously invested in a couple of other companies, the report said.
According to Forbes, Bankman-Fried is worth $20 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2021. FTX was founded in 2019 after the boom hit and has been growing far, far more quickly than any other reputable exchange, the report said.
By the numbers, FTX has raised $1.7 billion in seven venture capital rounds from 47 investors. FTX US raised $400 million in one round this year.
As reported earlier this month, Bankman-Fried’s stated goal of stopping a few insolvent crypto lenders from failing is looking a bit like bargain hunting.
He had positioned himself as the industry’s lender of last resort, announcing plans to “stem contagion” from plunging cryptocurrency prices and the bankruptcy of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which lost a fortune in the wake of a stablecoin’s $48 billion failure in May.
Bankman-Fried offered BlockFi and Voyager backstop lines of credit totaling $750 million, and in early July, he also said he was considering acquiring crypto mining firms.
Recently, Bankman-Fried claimed he and his company still have a “few billion” on hand to shore up struggling firms that could further destabilize the digital asset industry, adding that the worst of the liquidity crunch has likely passed.