FTX exchange breaks $32B valuation despite crypto winter fears
Despite growing fears over a potential cryptocurrency market downturn, major industry firms like FTX keep gaining momentum by securing hundreds of millions in fresh funding.
FTX Trading, the owner and operator of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX, officially announced Monday that it closed a $400 million Series C funding round, bringing the firm to a $32 billion in valuation.
The new fundraise comes several days after FTX’s United States-based sister firm FTX US also raised $400 million in a Series A round on Jan. 26, reaching an $8 billion valuation.
According to the announcement, the latest fundraise saw participation from Singaporean state investor Temasek, digital asset investment firm Paradigm, Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Tiger Global, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and others. All the firms simultaneously participated in the aforementioned FTX US funding round.
The new funding marks a major milestone for FTX as the company has secured $1.8 billion over the past six months, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said. The new round will help the company to continue launching more products as well as expand its global presence with additional regulatory approvals and licenses, he noted.
FTX’s new funding rounds come during a significant slump in cryptocurrency markets, with Bitcoin dropping from above $50,000 in late December to as low as $33,000 on Jan. 25. While some crypto executives like Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said that the world could potentially see another crypto winter, Bankman-Fried believes that it won’t last for long:
“I think we’re not entering a long term crypto winter. There have been changes in expectations of interest rates, and that’s been moving crypto markets. But it’s been moving markets more generally as well.”
Bankman-Fried also said that FTX does not have straightforward plans for an initial public offering. “I’m not sure whether we will. I could see it happening, I could see it not happening. We don’t feel like we have any particular need to do it,” he said. The exec still noted that FTX will “try and be prepared” in case they end up wanting to do so, with preparations including audited accounts and reviewing possible listing options.