FTX has memed itself into another massive funding round.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Bahamas-based crypto exchange said Wednesday it had raised $420,690,000 in a Series B-1 funding round. Sixty-nine investors – including BlackRock and Tiger Global – joined the fast-growing crypto conglomerate.
Investors valued the exchange at $25 billion, FTX said, a nearly 39% jump over the Series B sticker price from July when it raised a whopping $900 million in crypto’s largest-ever venture capital funding round. FTX says users have grown 48% in that period and trading volume rose 75%.
Surging growth coincided with FTX’s summertime marketing blitz. The new funding round is being announced as bitcoin tops fresh all-time highs.
The exchange has spent big on sports advertising this year, writing a mainstream outreach playbook with Major League Baseball that competitor Coinbase appears to be following in a new deal with the National Basketball Association.
But courting name recognition is just one spoke in the strategy, Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk in an interview.
Awash in venture capital and multimillion-dollar-a-day revenue streams, the CEO is planning a series of acquisitions and partnerships to get FTX into more countries, with more users.
“We’ve probably done a half a billion dollars of acquisitions so far this year,” Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk in a call. He said the coming buys are “potentially sizable.”
All that from a company whose influence is growing by the day. FTX – once only an overseas crypto derivatives exchange – now boasts a U.S. affiliate with its own NFT marketplace and a roadmap to offering regulated futures products.
The power FTX has amassed over the cryptosphere was on display last week when it barred NFTs projects with revenue-sharing schemes from listing on its marketplace. A number of projects including Solarians quickly dumped that feature to comply, angering troves of buyers.
“To some extent, people are taking cues from us,” Bankman-Fried said.