Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Asking Backers for Up To $1B at $32B Valuation

Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, funding, valuation, investors, crypto exchange

Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly in talks with investors to follow up a January funding round with a bigger infusion of capital for his cryptocurrency conglomerate FTX.

The CEO and founder of the second-largest exchange is asking investors to back FTX with as much as $1 billion to keep his company’s valuation at approximately $32 billion, CNBC reported on Thursday (Sept. 22) citing unnamed sources with insider information.

PYMNTS has reached out to FTX for comment.

Some of the new capital would be earmarked to fund more deal-making, the sources said. FTX could acquire U.S. crypto lender BlockFi under a deal it signed and in July was in acquisition talks with South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb.

See also: The Growing Ambitions of Sam Bankman-Fried, Crypto’s Would-Be King

FTX was also reportedly considering a 60% stake in the Huobi cryptocurrency exchange, PYMNTS reported in August. FTX US acquired stock clearing firm Embed, hardware wallet maker LedgerX, and game makers Good Luck Games.

Sam Bankman-Fried was able to take advantage of crypto winter’s bargain basement deals following free-falling prices and bankruptcies initially triggered by the $48 billion collapse in May of stablecoin Terra.

Privately held and headquartered in the Bahamas, FTX increased revenue by more than 1000% in 2021, going from $89 million in 2020 to $1.02 billion in 2021, CNBC reported last month, citing leaked documents. Net income was $388 million in 2021, up from just $17 million in 2020. 

Read more: Bankman-Fried’s Stake in Quant Trading Firm Raises Conflict Questions

Founded in 2019, Bankman-Fried’s conglomerate has three main divisions — FTX, which doesn’t operate in the U.S., the smaller unit FTX US and the sister company, the quant trading firm Alameda Research.

Little is known about Bankman-Fried’s Alameda, PYMNTS reported on Monday (Sept. 19). The FTX sister firm has a staff of about 30 and made millions in 2017 from a 10% price bonus for bitcoin in Japan. 

The company’s position as a major market maker on FTX puts it in a position of having a potential conflict of interest with FTX, which gets its revenue from transaction fees and margin loans to traders.