FTX Ventures, an arm of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange, will acquire a 30% stake in alternative asset manager SkyBridge Capital, the firms announced Sept. 9. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SkyBridge will use $40 million of the proceeds to purchase cryptocurrencies to hold as a long-term investment, according to a statement.
SkyBridge founder and managing partner Anthony Scaramucci said about the deal on Twitter, “There's a small universe of outside investors SkyBridge would ever consider partnering with, and @SBF_FTX is one of them.” He added separately, “This won’t significantly impact our day-to-day business and doesn’t change our strategy. […] We will remain a diversified asset firm, while investing heavily in blockchain.” SkyBridge managed about $2.5 billion, including over $800 million in digital assets, as of June 30, according to its website.
The two firms collaborated on the SALT (SkyBridge Alternatives) Conferences and the Crypto Bahamas conference for the past year. Bankman-Fried told CNBC:
“We’ve gotten to know the team over the last year. […] We’ve been really excited about what they’ve been doing […] from the investment angle, growing out the community — the digital assets community and the traditional asset community — bringing them together.”
SkyBridge began investing in Bitcoin (BTC) in 2020 and Scaramucci has become a vocal proponent of crypto since then. The firm has been relatively untouched by the meltdown of the crypto market, although it announced the suspension of withdrawals from its crypto-exposed Legion Strategies fund in July.
Bankman-Fried’s firms have entered into a flurry of acquisition activity since the crypto winter began. Bankman-Fried bought a 7.6% share in online brokerage Robinhood in May. FTX US extended a $400 million revolving credit to BlockFi, and FTX offered to buy out some of the debts of bankrupt Voyager Digital in July. It has also made inroads into traditional finance.