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FTX Gets into the Venture Game with “The Fund”

The crypto giant is extending its arms deeper into social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare through FTX Ventures.

2021 was a year to remember for FTX. The cryptocurrency exchange went from relative obscurity to a leader and dominant force in the crypto boom last year, and 2022 is looking to be even bigger.

The company launched a $2 billion venture fund called FTX Ventures on Friday, which will aim to advance global blockchain and Web3 adoption.

Internally, it will simply be known as The Fund, with an investment mandate across social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare. Amy Wu, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, will lead FTX’s fund and work alongside founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as part of an initial eight-member team.

General partner Ramnik Arora and advisor Armani Ferrante are also part of the group.

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

FTX was one of the largest disruptors of the previous year, with a cryptocurrency wallet, an NFT platform, and partnerships with everyone from Major League Baseball to Steph Curry, Shohei Ohtani, and Tom Brady .

It also purchased naming rights for the TSM esports team for $210 million, bought the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena, and minted NFTs for popular soccer clubs like Italy’s Inter Milan. All these major moves have made Bankman-Fried unimaginably wealthy, with a current real-time net worth of $26.5 billion, per Forbes.

“With FTX Ventures, we are looking to support entrepreneurs building generational businesses,” Wu said. “We’re particularly excited about Web3 gaming and its ability to bring mainstream audiences into the ecosystem.”

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