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Coinbase rival FTX U.S. raises $400M in funding led by Softbank, Temasek, valuing the Crypto exchange startup at $8 billion | Tech News | Startups News

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FTX U.S., the American affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, said on Wednesday it has raised $400 million in its first external funding round from high-profile investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. The Series A funding round gives FTX U.S. a valuation of $8 billion, placing it among the world’s most valuable private crypto firms.

The round also includes investments from crypto investment firm Paradigm, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, and Multicoin Capital. FTX US plans to use the funding proceeds to grow its user base and launch new business lines, and will also consider strategic investments and acquisitions.

Commenting on the latest funding, FTX US President Brett Harrison said: “By having this capital, we’re able to go out and be competitive and hire the best people,” Harrison added that FTX US also plans to expand its 100-strong staff.  Harrison previously worked at Citadel Securities before joining FTX US.

Harrison said, “What this raise means to us is that we are officially establishing ourselves on the stage of the largest competitors of cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., and signaling to the world that we are going to continue to expand very rapidly.”

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The cryptocurrency sector has grown at a rapid pace over the last two years as venture capital firms invested $30 billion in crypto in 2021, according to research firm PitchBook. With the cryptocurrency market cap surpassing $3 trillion in November, venture capital investors are increasingly looking for the next big winners hoping to get a piece of the pie.

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Chicago-based FTX US was launched in 2020 by former Wall Street high-frequency trading executives and competes with leading crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance. In October, FTX US acquired LedgerX in a move to expand into crypto futures and options trading.

The Cryptocurrency exchange had seen healthy growth in the last few months. The company had an average daily volume of about $360 million in the third quarter. FTX US said its users increased by 52% quarter over quarter, though the company has declined to share how many users it has overall.

FTX, the parent company of FTX US, was founded in 2018 by 29-year-old MIT graduate Sam Bankman-Fried and his co-founder Gary Wang. FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, who currently resides in Hong Kong, is now worth $22.5 billion making him the richest person in crypto, according to Forbes. Sam graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 at the age of 21. He was skilled in math and loved to solve problems and give back to society.

In 2020, Bankman-Fried made headlines after he donated a whopping $5.2 million to Joe Biden’s campaign, making him the second-biggest donor. Today, Sam is a celebrity in crypto circles. FTX specializes in derivatives and trading on leverage, the use of borrowed funds to amplify trades.

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We covered FTX US’s parent company back in October 2021 after the 4-year-old cryptocurrency derivatives exchange platform raised $420M in funding at a $25 billion valuation.


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