FTX is one crypto exchange that everyone else wants to be right now. The company has perfectly executed one strategy after the other, and the market has recently rewarded it with a fresh funding round.
Despite fears of a possible crypto winter, FTX has managed to increase its valuation as it secured new funding to end January.
New Money Confirms FTX’s Meteoric Rise
At the end of last month, FTX announced that it had secured $400 million in funding as it completed its Series C round. The exchange confirmed that the round included big names like Tiger Global, the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, and Temasek - an investment company funded by the Singaporean government.
FTX is now valued at a staggering $32 billion, thanks to the new funding round. Company CEO Sam Bankman-Fried explained that FTX has now raised $1.8 billion in the past six months, showing massive investor confidence in their ability to still scale. FTX completed its Series B round in July 2021, raising $900 million at a valuation of $18 billion.
By nearly doubling its valuation in just a little over six months, FTX is currently standing in very exclusive territory. Bankman-Fried explained that the new funding would be used to improve FTX’s product catalog and power their expansion to a global scale. The company hopes to get more regulatory approval, which would allow it to expand across multiple countries.
FTX isn’t the only company celebrating a huge capital raise. Its American subsidiary - called FTX US - also raised $400 million in its inaugural funding round, bringing its valuation to an impressive $8 billion. The round was led by SoftBank, along with Temasek, Multicoin Capital, and Paradigm Holdings.
The American subsidiary is gearing up for a massive year, which should see it launch trading for traditional stocks as well. Earlier in January, company President Brett Harrison said that they are putting the finishing touches on a feature that will offer exposure to traditional stocks for all FTX US users. This could see the platform enter into a retail space dominated by names like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade.
Ready To Roll
Another impressive part of the two funding rounds is that they happened at a time when investor sentiment about the crypto market seemed to be waning. The market started out slow in 2022 - especially compared to a year ago. These coin performances have so far made many investors question whether we could be heading for another bearish season.
But, Bankman-Fried is of a different opinion. Speaking to CNBC following the capital raise, the billionaire CEO explained:
“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.”
As for the company’s future plans, Bankman-Fried claimed that they plan to focus on building for now. CNBC asked the billionaire whether FTX could follow in Coinbase’s footsteps and file for an initial public offering (IPO), but Bankman-Fried poured cold water on that idea for now.
“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,” the billionaire said, adding that FTX will prepare if they do eventually want to go public.
Liquid Joins The Family
FTX has wasted no time pushing its boundaries with the funding round closed. Three days after the announcement, the exchange completed the acquisition of Liquid Group - a Japanese crypto firm - and its subsidiaries.
Bankman-Fried made the announcement on Twitter, explaining that the move will see FTX acquire Quoine Corporation - a crypto exchange regulated by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Quoine will integrate all of FTX’s services and features, and FTX will also move all of its partners to Quoine directly.
While the agreement is expected to be finalized in March, the details are yet to be disclosed. Regardless, FTX has touted the deal, claiming that it will serve both retail and institutional investors - particularly in Japan.
The acquisition of the Liquid Group joins some of the big moves that FTX is working on. The company already announced its foray into traditional stocks, and FTX Ventures - the company’s $2 billion venture capital firm - is already in full swing.
While FTX is still some way off the valuation of big names like Binance and Coinbase, this company has shown that it means business.