Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX would consider buying Robinhood
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is considering an acquisition of trading platform Robinhood, according to a report of Bloomberg. Sources close to the situation said Bloomberg that FTX is still evaluating the possibility and has not yet made an offer.
Asked about the potential takeover, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said the company is not currently in the process of trying to acquire Robinhood. “We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we can partner with them,” Bankman-Fried said in a statement to Bloomberg. “That being said, there are no active mergers and acquisitions [mergers and acquisitions] conversations with Robinhood. The edge contacted FTX with a request for comment, but did not immediately respond. Robinhood declined to comment on the story.
In May, Bankman-Fried unveiled its 7.6% stake in Robinhoodwhich was worth around $648 million at the time, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission 13D. This folder type is used when someone acquires more than 5% of a company, but can also signal a potential takeover. Robin Hood CEO Vlad Tenev and CCO Baiju Bhatt both own approximately 8% of the company and, as Bloomberg notes, control more than 50% of the company’s voting rights. Robinhood shares soared 12% after news of the potential acquisition.
As cryptocurrencies — and stocks in general — tumble as we enter what some consider a “crypto winter,” Bankman-Fried and his FTX exchange have played a pivotal role in provide bailouts to struggling blockchain companies. FTX provided $250 million in revolving credit to crypto trading platform BlockFi, and Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research also lent $500 million to crypto brokerage Voyager Digital.
Widespread economic uncertainty has also affected Robinhood’s business – in its latest earnings reportits monthly active users fell 10% to 15.9 million in March 2022, from 17.7 million in March 2021. Its revenue also fell 48% year-over-year, from $522 million to $299 million.
Robinhood has become a popular trading platform among young investors thanks to its commission-free trading, as well as the availability of traditional stocks and crypto-based investments. It has been striving to expand its crypto offerings since deployment of the option for the first time in 2018 and launched its own cryptocurrency wallet earlier this month. The company went public last year after weathering the meme stock wave that sent AMC and GameStop stocks soaring. According BloombergRobinhood has lost around three-quarters of its market valuation since then, which currently sits at $7.4 billion.