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FTX nets another mega-round and plots global expansion and M&A activity

The news: The Bahamas-based crypto exchange raised a $400 million Series C at a $32 billion valuation after charting staggering growth in 2021.

More on FTX: Though it was only founded in 2019, FTX quickly has established itself as the third-largest global crypto exchange—and investors keep returning to it with fresh capital.

  • FTX was the fastest-growing crypto exchange last year: Its trading volume spiked by 600%, outstripping its closest competitor Huobi by over 200%.
  • Its trading volume now only trails first- and second-place Binance and Coinbase.
  • FTX’s user base has also grown by 60% since October, while average trading volume ticked up 40%.
  • Investors rewarded its impressive growth with several mega-rounds: It netted some $1.8 billion across three raises over the last six months.
  • FTX has added $7 billion to its valuation since its October raise of $420 million. Its US subsidiary also raised $400 million only last week.

What’s next for FTX? Its deep pockets will help finance further growth and a large-scale marketing push to offset the global slowdown in crypto-trading volume.

  • The H2 2021 was marked by slowing crypto-trading volume after reaching a Q2 peak: In Q3, global trading volume fell 37%.
  • We expect this to carry over into 2022, as retail investors’ appetites lessen for short-term trading and as signs of fatigue grow after the frenzy of 2021.
  • Despite these limiting factors, FTX’s war chest means it's well-resourced to keep growing, albeit not at the same breakneck speed.
  • The crypto exchange has outlined a core strategy of global expansion and a worldwide rollout of its full-range of services—such as in Southeast Asian markets—which will help stimulate fresh user growth.
  • Funding also will help FTX sustain its large-scale marketing campaigns—which included featuring American football star Tom Brady—and further build its brand recognition.
  • FTX might take advantage of the slightly harsher market conditions by acquiring smaller players and scooping up their customer bases and technology: This week, it also announced its purchase of the Japanese exchange Liquid.