FTX Breaks Crypto Funding Round Record with $900M Series B

Bucking a bearish crypto market, FTX, the two-year-old cryptocurrency exchange, announced a $900M Series B funding round at a valuation of $18B, the company said in a statement released yesterday. 

The deal is a clear sign that for all the angst in the markets, well-heeled investors are only too eager to play the long game with serious money. More than 60 entities participated in FTX’s funding round, including influential players such as Sequoia Capital, Paradigm and Coinbase’s venture arm.

This marks the highest ever VC deal for a cryptocurrency company, shattering the previous record set by Circle’s $440M round in May, according to The Block. Circle also invested in FTX. 

Deploying the capital

Helmed by Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX says it has 1M users and $10B in daily trading volume. FTX has bagged a number of splashy sponsorship deals this year, including with Major League Baseball, the esports team TSM (now officially named Team SoloMid FTX), and the Miami Heat, whose arena is now the called the FTX Arena.

FTX plans to use its new capital in a number of areas. It wants to expand its user base and product offerings and strengthen endorsement deals. The company is also keen on engaging more partners for its payments, liquidity and NFT programs. Plus, it plans to break into white-label software, or branding and selling software as a service.

“As crypto becomes more ubiquitous, FTX has the opportunity to build a next generation financial services brand, spanning exchange, payments, and many other categories to come,” said Nick Shalek of Ribbit Capital, another backer in the round.

According to Fiat Exchange Volume data from The Block, FTX has seen over $20B in trading in July. FTX takes fees from trades on its platform.