FTX investors include Robert Kraft, Paul Tudor Jones: new filings

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves a courthouse after his arraignment on December 22, 2022 in New York.

Ed Jones | Afp | Getty Images

It wasn’t just Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen.

A list of high-profile investors betting on cryptocurrency exchange FTX included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, according to court documents released Monday evening.

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s well-documented success in raising money and attracting investors extended to a wider range of celebrity investors and major financiers than previously disclosed. FTX went through four rounds of fundraising to reach a valuation of $32 billion by early last year and eventually filed for bankruptcy in November.

Bankman-Fried, co-founder and former CEO of FTX, has pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal charges, including fraud and money laundering. In December, he was released on $250 million bail pending trial.

For enterprise backers, FTX represents a loss of historical proportions. Sequoia Capital announced in November that it had zeroed in on more than $210 million of its investment. Customers face a long road to recovery as the bankruptcy process winds its way through the courts and dozens of jurisdictions before former shareholders can begin to recover any of their investments.

FTX’s venture investors included a number of luminaries. Dan Loeb controlled 6.1 million preferred shares through venture funds associated with Third Point. Rival exchange Coinbase He owns about 1.3 million preferred shares.

Jones, the founder of Tudor Investments, apparently held shares through a number of family trusts. Kraft controlled 155,144 preferred shares in FTX through previously undisclosed investments.

Brady, the winningest quarterback in National Football League history at age 45, was a well-known FTX supporter and player for the company. Along with Bündchen, he owned common stock in the company. The famous couple announced their divorce in October after 13 years of marriage.

CNBC compiled and analyzed the following preferred stock ownership using Delaware bankruptcy court filings.

Series B: July 2021

Despite being called a Series B raise, this was FTX’s first foreign capital infusion aside from an early investment from Binance in its July 2021 fundraising round. Investors include Paradigm and Sequoia, as well as Thoma Bravo and Third Point. The $900 million round valued FTX at $18 billion.

Jones, who told CNBC in October 2022 that his exposure to bitcoin was “minor,” appears to have invested in FTX through a number of family trusts.

Series B-1: October 2021

A few months later, FTX closed a $420 million funding round that included the original Series B backers. The list of investors has expanded to include previously undisclosed capital Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai’s family office, Blue Pool, and others.

Series C: January 2022

As FTX and Bankman-Fried spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising deals and sponsorships, the company continued to seek venture capital at a voracious pace. In January 2022, FTX closed a $400 million Series C at $32 billion.

FTX USA Series A: January 2022

Based in the Bahamas, FTX created FTX US in response to US regulations on cryptocurrency trading. Regulators have since argued that FTX US is separated from FTX’s international arm in name only.

As it seeks to establish its independence, FTX USA closed a $400 million funding round in January 2022 from investors including Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund. Previously undisclosed venture backers for the round included Kraft and Daniel Och’s family office, Willoughby Capital.

According to bankruptcy filings and regulatory complaints, funds and client assets moved freely between FTX entities. Despite being partially regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, FTX US clients face an equally difficult process in bankruptcy court to try and get some of their money back.

Equity investors in FTX USA are looking at zero, just like in FTX.

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