Is FTX the JPM of this century? SkyBridge Capital's Anthony Scaramucci seems to think so. In response to FTX’s recent bailouts throughout the crypto industry, he commented that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) "is the new John Pierpoint Morgan – he is bailing out cryptocurrency markets."
Rewind to 1907 and we find a similar narrative when tracing investment banker J.P. Morgan’s decisions to bail out multiple major banks after a period of crisis. As crypto markets have come under strain, SBF has stepped up to assume this role in its modern-day form.
For context, SBF has built out an army of crypto companies and positions – through Alameda and FTX – which have become powerhouses for facilitating consumer crypto trading interest, and acting as the market-making backbone of that interest. SBF has been unwavering in deploying capital to early stage companies as well, such as Solana, and FTX just recently purchased 7% of Robinhood’s equity in a play to start going after the US stock market.
Most recently, FTX made a $250m loan to bail out crypto lender BlockFi, as well as a $485 million loan to Voyager Digital. While some have applauded these efforts to support what they’ve characterized as systemically important players, others believe that the ongoing “crypto winter” will have a positive outcome in weeding out underperforming companies.
Regardless of the public verdict, FTX seems to be here to stay in their newly minted position of crypto lender of last resort. The question then remains - who will be the next lucky, heavily stressed players to receive a handout?
Hands Up For Handouts
Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried doles out credit lines to stem contagion - In a recent interview with NPR, Bankman-Fried said he has a responsibility to consider stepping in, “even if it is at a loss to ourselves,” to stem contagions and help the industry thrive. In addition to parallels being drawn between Bankman-Fried and John Pierpont Morgan in 1907, some are also comparing the recent moves to Warren Buffett providing support to Goldman Sachs in 2008. Read more
BlockFi inks $250m credit deal with FTX to ease liquidity fears - FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that his company takes seriously its duty to protect the digital asset ecosystem and its customers. The partnership with BlockFi follows Alameda Research, a trading firm founded by Bankman-Fried, lending crypto broker Voyager Digital $500m. The capital gives the firm more flexibility to mitigate current market conditions, Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich said in a statement. Read more
Aidaly - Miami based provider of financial and coaching services for family caregivers raised $8.5m in Seed funding led by Seven Seven Six. Read more
Cleo - UK based super app focused on Gen Zers raised $80m in growth funding led by Sofina. Read more
Falcon X - California based cryptocurrency exchange focused on institutional investors raised $150m in Series D funding led by GIC and B Capital Group. Read more
Fido - Ghana based mobile credit startup raised $30m in Series A funding led by Fortissimo Capital. Read more
FinBox - India based credit and borrowing startup raised $15m in Series A funding led by A91 Partners. Read more
Finhay - Vietnam based digital investment platform raised $25m in Series B funding led by Openspace Ventures and VIG. Read more
Fung - Amsterdam based crypto payments infrastructure company raised $2.7m in pre-Seed funding led by Global Founders Capital. Read more
Huspy - Dubai based online mortgage platform raised $37m in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India. Read more
Ledger - New York based online marketplace that connects capital with insurance risk raised $75m in Series B funding led by WestCap. Read more
Magic Eden - San Francisco based NFT-marketplace raised $130m in Series B funding led by Electric Capital and Greylock. Read more
Openly - Boston based homeowners insurance startup raised $75m in Series C funding led by Advance Venture Partners. Read more
Opn Co - Japan based mobile payments startup raised $120m in growth funding led by JIC Venture Growth Investments and Mars Growth Capital Pte. Read more
PayGlocal - New Delhi based cross-border payments startup raised $12m in Series B funding led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital India. Read more
Playter - London based provider of BNPL solutions for SMEs raised $55m in equity and debt funding led by Adit Ventures and Fasanara Capital. Read more
Prime Trust - Las Vegas based provider of infrastructure for digital asset services providers raised $107m in Series B funding from investors including FIS, Fin Capital, Mercato Partners, Kraken Ventures. Read more
Stashfin - Singapore based neobank raised $70m in Series C funding led by Uncorrelated Ventures. Read more
SumUp - London based maker of point-of-sale payments solutions for small businesses raised €590m in equity and debt funding led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities. Read more
Tapcheck - Los Angeles based earned wage access company raised $20m in Series A funding led by PeakSpan Capital. Read more
Vergo - New York based financial platform for the home building and renovation industry raised $4.1m in Seed funding led by CRV. Read more
Wahed - New York based Islamic fintech company raised $50m in Series B funding led by Wa’ed Ventures. Read more
zCloak Network - UK based provider of zero-knowledge proofs for public blockchains raised $5.8m in Seed funding led by Coinbase Ventures. Read more
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