Temasek among investors in crypto exchange FTX US now valued at $10.8b

Chicago-based FTX US was launched in 2020 by former Wall Street high frequency trading executives. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FTX.US

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Cryptocurrency exchange FTX US said on Wednesday (Jan 26) it was valued at US$8 billion (S$10.8 billion) after raising US$400 million in its first funding round from investors, including Japan's SoftBank Group and Singapore's Temasek.

The Series A funding also includes investments from crypto investment firm Paradigm, Multicoin Capital, Tribe Capital, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others, the company said in a statement.

"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 US, and signalling to the world that we are going to continue to expand very rapidly," FTX US president Brett Harrison said.

With the cryptocurrency market growing, surpassing US$3 trillion in November last year, venture capital investors are increasingly looking to put down stakes in the industry.

Venture capital firms invested US$30 billion in crypto in 2021, according to research firm PitchBook.

Chicago-based FTX US was launched in 2020 by former Wall Street high frequency trading executives, and it competes with leading crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance.

In October last year, FTX US acquired LedgerX in a move to expand into crypto futures and options trading.

FTX US had an average daily volume of about US$360 million in the third quarter, according to the company. Its users increased by 52 per cent quarter over quarter, though the company has declined to share how many users it has overall.

FTX US said it intends to use the funds to grow its user base and launch new business lines, and will also consider strategic investments and acquisitions.

It also plans to expand its 100-strong staff, said Mr Harrison, who previously worked at Citadel Securities.

"By having this capital, we're able to go out and be competitive and hire the best people," he said.

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