FTX, the bankrupt crypto exchange that collapsed in November 2022, is considering a potential restart with the help of external investors. According to Bloomberg, one of the interested parties is Proof Group, a Silicon Valley investment firm that was part of the Fahrenheit consortium that successfully bid for the assets of another failed crypto lender, Celsius.
Proof Group, founded in 2018, is a venture capital firm that invests in various crypto projects, such as Aptos, Lightspark and Sui The firm reportedly met with FTX’s committee of unsecured creditors in January 2023 to discuss an informal proposal to lead a $250 million fundraising campaign, anchored by $100 million from itself and its limited partners.
A fresh capital injection to jump-start the effort
The proposal included an estimated 9 million customer accounts, FTX US, FTX Australia, FTX Japan, FTX EU, FTX International and LedgerX, while excluding a venture capital portfolio and crypto assets, among others. The new exchange would continue to use the FTX name and brand.
However, Proof Group is not the only bidder for FTX’s reboot plan. According to CoinDesk, another contender is Tribe Capital, a venture firm that also invested in FTX before its collapse Tribe Capital, co-founded by former Facebook executive Arjun Sethi, is considering a fresh capital injection to jump-start the effort.
A third bidder is Figure, a fintech and digital assets firm that also bid for Celsius as part of the unsuccessful NovaWulf group Figure, founded by former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney, is known for its blockchain-based platform Provenance, which provides services such as lending, payments and capital markets.
A decision on FTX’s future is expected by mid-December
FTX’s current CEO, John Ray III, a recovery specialist who oversaw the bankruptcy of Enron, aims to decide whether a restart is feasible, according to a presentation in bankruptcy court. FTX’s former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty after pleading not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges.
A decision on FTX’s future is expected to be made by mid-December, according to Perella Weinberg Partners, an investment bank involved in the process. Other options being considered include selling the entire exchange and its valuable customer list or bringing in a partner.