FTX Trading, one of the world’s busiest cryptocurrency exchanges, which launched a new record year for crypto funding deals, announced Friday that it has launched a $2 billion crypto-focused venture capital fund, making it the latest mega fund promising to pump billions of dollars into prosperity. Startups in the emerging field of crypto.
The fund, called FTX Ventures, will invest in cryptocurrency startups around the world and at all stages, with a broad focus in social, gaming, fintech, software and healthcare.
Founded by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried in 2017, FTX has hired crypto investor Amy Wu, a former partner at $10 billion investment firm Lightspeed Ventures, to head the fund and lead its eight-person team.
In a statement, Wu said she is “especially excited about Web 3 games” and the potential to break into mainstream entertainment; She previously led multi-million dollar investments in blockchain software company Alchemy and crypto game studio Faraway.
Wu said the fund, which has not yet announced any investments, will write checks ranging from $100,000 to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The explosion in the value of cryptocurrencies during the pandemic has led to a wave of record investments in the booming space. Venture capital firms poured a record $30 billion into crypto startups in 2021, nearly seven times the volume a year earlier, according to PitchBook. Enthusiasm has peaked so far with FTX’s largest-ever fundraising round, raising $900 million from investors in July. The deal-making frenzy is expected to continue. In November, crypto investment firm Paradigm announced that it had raised $2.5 billion from investors to launch its largest-ever crypto investment fund, surpassing the $2.2 billion raised by Silicon Valley monolith Andreessen Horowitz just five months earlier.
Since its launch just two years ago, FTX in the Bahamas has rapidly grown to become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, consistently ranking among the top five busiest by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap. In October, the four-year-old company received a staggering $25 billion valuation after raising another $421 million from investors to expand into new jurisdictions and build on its existing offerings.
$26.5 billion. This is how much Bankman-Fried is worth, according to Forbes, making him the 29th richest man in the world.
Six digits specify the year of coding registration (Forbes)
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