FTX Trading Ltd., a major cryptocurrency exchange operator, today announced that it’s launching a $2 billion venture fund to back companies and projects in the digital asset ecosystem.

In a statement, FTX Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried said that “our investors at FTX have made a deep impact in supporting our growth and development. We strive to do the same at FTX Ventures and are excited to find the brightest minds and disruptive innovation in tech.”

Founded in 2019, FTX is one of the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s most prominent players. The company operates a cryptocurrency exchange of the same name that is among the most popular in the industry.

In June 2021, FTX announced that it had raised a $800 million funding round at a $18 billion valuation from SoftBank Group Corp., Sequoia Capital and other investors. At the time, Reuters reported that FTX had more than one million users and was processing about $10 billion in trading volume every day. 

The company’s newly launched venture fund is called FTX Ventures and will be led by Amy Wu (pictured), who was previously a Partner at venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Wu will also lead FTX  initiatives related to mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and the video game market.

“I am thrilled to be joining FTX to work alongside Sam and some of the smartest people disrupting the financial services industry,” Wu said. “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.”

FTX  Ventures plans to make investments across several different market segments. The fund’s focus areas will include social media, video games, financial technology, software and healthcare. FTX Ventures intends to back “multi-stage companies and projects” across the segments where it will make investments.

For the teams that it backs, FTX Ventures will provide “flexible funding and strategic support from FTX and its network of global partners,” the company said today.

The launch of FTX Ventures will boost the already significant venture activity in the digital asset ecosystem. ConsenSys Software Inc., which provides a cryptocurrency wallet and development tools for building blockchain applications, raised $200 million at a $3.2 billion valuation in November. Alchemy Insights Inc., whose platform eases the coding tasks involved in building blockchain applications, reached a $3.5 billion valuation a few weeks earlier after closing a $350 million investment.

Photo: FTX

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