Some call him a magician, others call him a Superman. However, whatever they call him doesn’t really matter. Sam Bankman-Fried is a 29-year-old MIT graduate and the co-founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange built for traders. Bankman-Fried co-founded FTX in 2018 with his co-founder Gary Wang.
Three years ago, the duo built a platform powerful enough for professional trading firms and intuitive enough for first-time users. The platform even supports quarterly and perpetual futures for all major cryptocurrencies, leveraged tokens, and OTC. FTX was incubated by Alameda Research, a top cryptocurrency liquidity provider. Because of this FTX has had industry-leading order books from day one.
Today, FTX announced it has raised $420 million in a new round of funding, valuing the company at $25 billion. The Bahamas-based crypto exchange startup said Thursday the fresh cash infusion came from a total of 69 investors including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Singapore’s Temasek, BlackRock, and Sequoia.
Specifically, the company said it attracted a total of $420,690,000 in its latest round, with the “420” and “69″ being a nod to meme culture. The latest funding follows the company’s Series B financing round in July, in which it raised $900 million at an $18 billion valuation. Today, FTX is one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges, competing with the likes of Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken.
FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, who currently resides in Hong Kong, is now worth $22.5 billion, 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.
Sam is now a celebrity in crypto circles. 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.
FTX specializes in derivatives and trading on leverage, the use of borrowed funds to amplify trades. “We founded FTX two years ago with the idea of creating a better financial marketplace,” said Bankman-Fried.
“Today we are focused on establishing FTX as a trustworthy and innovative exchange by regularly engaging with regulators around the world, and constantly seeking opportunities to enhance our offerings for digital asset investors.”
FTX said its long-term mission is to build the best derivatives exchange and to help move this space toward becoming institutional.