FTX debuts monster $2 billion crypto venture fund
Two-year-old cryptocurrency exchange FTX has launched a $2 billion venture fund to invest in “the world’s best teams building in the digital asset ecosystem.”
The firm, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, said on Friday it believes that the new fund and its size are reflective of crypto being the most exciting frontier in technology.
FTX Ventures will place bets across the broader blockchain industry, backing startups operating in areas spanning web3 adoption, social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare. The crypto-centric fund will invest across all geographies and stages – from early stage to late-stage and stages in between – providing flexible funding and strategic support from FTX and its network of global partners.
FTX has lured crypto investor Amy Wu to join the firm and lead its new fund, as well as the exchange’s gaming, M&A and commercial initiatives. She will join a team of eight, including general partner Ramnik Arora, advisor Armani Ferrante, and others.
Amy was most recently a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, where she made investments in consumer, gaming, and crypto companies. During her three-year tenure with the $10 billion multi-stage venture fund, Amy led crypto and gaming investments, including the fund’s investment in FTX.
Prior to that, she was a mainstay at global media company Discovery, where she led operations and finance across Asian markets, digital businesses, and sports.
Commenting on her new role, Wu said: “I am thrilled to be joining FTX to work alongside Sam and some of the smartest people disrupting the financial services industry. With FTX Ventures, we are looking to support entrepreneurs building generational businesses. We’re particularly excited about web3 gaming and its ability to bring mainstream audiences into the ecosystem.”
The move comes on the heels of FTX launching a non-fungible (NFT) marketplace exclusively for customers living in the United States. The platform enables users to mint, buy and sell NFTs — all traded cross-chain across the Ethereum and Solana blockchains.
FTX.US kicked off these plans earlier in October when acquired Ledger Holdings Inc., parent company of a CFTC-regulated digital currency futures and options exchange.
FTX, which was recently valued at $25 billion after a $450 million funding round, isn’t the only crypto exchange to expand into the surging NFTs arena. Rival Binance launched its own NFT marketplace in collaboration with the likes of soccer players Michael Owen and Alphonso Davies. OKEx also added an NFT hub to its crypto spot and derivatives exchange, allowing users to mint, buy and sell their NFT assets within the platform’s native ecosystem.