The crypto exchange run by 29-year-old billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried was just valued at $18 billion

Screenshot 2021 06 04 at 12.57.45
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX.

  • FTX, the crypto exchange founded by 29-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, announced it raised $900 million for a valuation of $18 billion.
  • Though a touch lower than the $20 billion Bankman-Fried had previously sought, the valuation has come on the back of startling growth.
  • FTX is still a good deal smaller than Binance and Coinbase, its main competitors.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

FTX, the crypto exchange founded by 29-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, announced on Tuesday that it had raised $900 million in series B financing, implying a valuation of $18 billion.

“I’m incredibly humbled by the support we’ve gotten,” Bankman-Fried said in a statement. “It’s our first large fundraise, but through it we’ve formed a hugely valuable set of partners.”

The fundraising round drew in high-profile participants including Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, Paul Tudor Jones, and Sequoia Capital.

Alfred Lin, a partner at Sequoia, said in a statement that Bankman-Fried was the “perfect founder” for FTX, which could soon “become the leading financial exchange for all types of assets.”

Though a touch lower than the $20 billion Bankman-Fried had previously sought, the valuation has come on the back of startling growth. FTX, founded in 2019, saw its average daily trading volume shoot up 11-fold between October and April of this year. The exchange now handles more than $10 billion in volume on an average day.

FTX is still a good deal smaller than Binance and Coinbase, its main competitors. For comparison, Binance boasts north of $75 billion in average daily volume and Coinbase a public-market valuation of $47 billion.

One Twitter user offered their lukewarm take on the fundraise, writing, “World’s least shi–y billionaire gets more billions.”

“Eh, I’ll take it,” replied Bankman-Fried, who is worth an estimated $8.7 billion.

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29-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried said in a recent interview that buying Goldman Sachs is ‘not out of the question’

Screenshot 2021 06 04 at 12.57.45
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX.

  • Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, told the FT that acquiring Goldman Sachs was “not out of the question” should FTX grow big enough.
  • FTX is in the midst of a new funding round, but doesn’t have current plans to IPO.
  • Average daily trading volume on FTX has shot up 11-fold between October and April of this year.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of crypto exchange FTX, said in an interview with the Financial Times that acquiring Goldman Sachs or CME Group was “not out of the question” should FTX grow big enough.

FTX – which Bankman-Fried has previously said is seeking a $20 billion valuation – still has yet to overtake its crypto competitors Binance and Coinbase. But the exchange still has considerable room to grow, the 29-year-old billionaire said, hinting at future acquisitions.

Coinbase’s IPO in April, seen by some as crypto’s “coming out” moment, put the exchange at $76 billion, though markets now value the company at a lower, still-impressive $51 billion.

FTX is in the midst of a new funding round, but doesn’t have current plans to IPO, Bankman-Fried told the FT.

“We don’t need the capital … We are not actively looking to list, but we want to be in a position to go ahead if we want to,” he said.

Bankman-Fried, who is worth some $8.7 billion himself, has taken a warmer tone toward regulation, noting that it is both inevitable and potentially beneficial to crypto brands.

An acquisition of Goldman Sachs, with a market cap of $128 billion, may be a ways off. But if anything, FTX’s explosive growth lends some credence to Bankman-Fried’s ambitions. Average daily trading volume on the exchange has shot up 11-fold between October and April of this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider