Which European startups did FTX and Alameda invest in? - Sifted

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The net is awash with details connected the downfall of collapsed crypto speech FTX. But 1 of the alien mysteries is the extended task investments of its Alameda Research trading arm.

According to documents published by the FT past month, Alameda had made immoderate 500 illiquid investments done 10 holding companies, totalling much than $5.4bn. It’s not yet wide however these were financed oregon however overmuch FTX lawsuit funds were involved.

Sixteen of those companies were successful Europe — accounting for 1 quarter, oregon $1.3bn, of the full invested. That’s not a trivial amount; if that were 1 VC fund, it would beryllium 1 of Europe’s largest.

The lion’s stock went to Alameda’s biggest concern of all, bitcoin miner Genesis Digital Assets, successful which it invested $1.15bn crossed 2021 and 2022. Nine of the 16 companies run successful the troubled crypto space, which means recovering worth from the portfolio for FTX creditors whitethorn beryllium challenging.

We’ve scoured blogs, institution filings and half-built websites to physique a representation of FTX’s eclectic European task portfolio. Where possible, we besides got the names of different investors from Dealroom data. It’s worthy mentioning that neither the FT nor Sifted tin vouch for the names oregon amounts from Alameda’s spreadsheets being close oregon complete. 

1. Genesis Digital Assets

A antheral successful a purple-lit country surrounded by crypto mining rigsCryptocurrency mining. ©agnormark / Adobe Stock.

HQ: Cyprus
Founded: 2013
Sector: Bitcoin mining
Other backers: Stonebridge, Ribbit Capital, Winter Capital, Kingsway Capital, Electric Capital, SkyBridge Capital, Paradigm, NYDIG
FTX cheque: $1.15bn, divided betwixt $100m (Aug 2021); $550m (Jan 2022); $250m (Feb 2022); $250m (April 2022)

Not to beryllium confused with distressed crypto lender Genesis, Genesis Digital Assets (GDA) operates successful the crypto mining space. Its geographical origins are complicated: the institution is registered successful Cyprus, and was founded by a operation of German bitcoin members and Kazakh entrepreneurs. In a GDA video, company execs explicate their founding “vision” was based astir utilizing Kazakhstan’s comparatively inexpensive energy proviso to unfastened bitcoin mining information centres.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Cypriot institution filings, Alameda’s concern resulted successful a 20% involvement successful the company. But recovering worth from this concern could beryllium tricky. Having boomed past year, the bitcoin mining manufacture is 1 of the crypto subsectors that mislaid the astir worth successful 2022, acknowledgment to a cleanable tempest of bitcoin’s collapsing terms and soaring vigor costs.

Neither cofounder and CEO Marco Streng nor the institution responded to requests for remark connected the company’s existent operations oregon the FTX investment. 

2. NEAR protocol

Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR FoundationMarieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation

HQ: Switzerland
Founded: 2018
Sector: Crypto protocol
Other backers: Tiger Global Management, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Republic Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Three Arrows Capital, Fabric Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and more.
FTX cheque: $80m, divided crossed $30m successful Jan 2022, and $50m successful April 2022 (token investments)

Alongside FTX’s investment, NEAR has gained immoderate large sanction VC backers similar Tiger Global and a16z. It’s raised a full of $524m for its protocol, a blockchain which was designed arsenic an alternate to Ethereum for developers to physique decentralised programs on. And it’s got immoderate large names connected its team, too. One of them is the erstwhile CEO of Natwest’s challenger slope Mettle, Marieke Flament, who joined the NEAR Foundation, which oversees the backing and improvement of the NEAR protocol, arsenic CEO past year.

According to crypto tracker Token Terminal, NEAR protocol’s gross is down 84% successful the past 180 days. But the institution tells Sifted that NEAR protocol’s cumulative accounts grew much than 15x successful 2022 to much than 22m NEAR tokens and it generated $330m of outer superior successful projects gathering connected NEAR.

NEAR Foundation tells Sifted that it didn’t clasp immoderate funds connected FTX, but FTX Ventures received 8.9m NEAR Tokens from NEAR Foundation.

In regards to the FTX Ventures investment, the institution tells Sifted: “The NEAR Foundation and its ineligible squad is moving with outer counsel successful Switzerland and the US to measure options and find the astir due way forwards. With assistance from outer counsel, the NEAR Foundation has already opened a dialog with lawyers representing the FTX/Alameda liquidators. We can’t supply immoderate further item astatine this clip owed to the confidential quality of this process.”

3. JustWontDie

Founded: 2019
Sector: Gaming 
Other backers: Arizona partners, Solana Ventures, Novator Partners
FTX cheque: $7.5m effect concern successful May 2022

JustWontDie tells Sifted it’s been moving connected “an innovative AAA (high-budget) video crippled and an animated TV amusement crossover” for 4 years, but is yet to launch. 

According to Beauhurst data, FTX’s May 2022 effect concern gave it a 14.14% involvement successful JustWontDie, making it the fourth-largest shareholder aft the company’s 3 cofounders, Riaan Hodgson, Mark Gerhard and David Gomberg, who each clasp a 16.67% involvement successful the company. 

A spokesperson for JustWontDie confirmed the institution received the $7.5m concern from FTX.

4. OTC Service AG

HQ: Switzerland
Founded: 2022
Sector: Financial software 
Other backers: Unknown 
FTX cheque: $6.8m investment, chartless date.

Alameda’s task portfolio spreadsheets diagnostic immoderate incomplete entries, 1 of which is its concern into a fiscal bundle institution called OTC Service AG. According to the documents, Alameda’s Maclaurin Investments Ltd entity invested $6.8m into OTC Services, but we can’t beryllium 100% definite this materialised arsenic it’s labelled arsenic “Equity, Promissory note”.

When Sifted contacted a institution exec, they declined to remark connected whether the concern was completed. Sifted was incapable to find immoderate grounds that the institution has brought a merchandise to market.

5. 3Commas

3Commas' enactment team3Commas’ enactment team

HQ: Estonia
Founded: 2017
Sector: Crypto plus absorption platform
Other backers: Target Global, Copper CEO Dmitry Tokarev, Jump Capital
FTX cheque: $5m concern successful Series B, September 2022. 

3Commas is an automated trading and portfolio absorption level for retail crypto investors.

The institution raised a $37m Series B successful September past year, astatine a clip erstwhile companies astatine that signifier were uncovering it peculiarly hard to raise. Alameda invested $5m successful the round, a specified 2 months earlier FTX’s collapse. Revolut backers Target Global, arsenic good arsenic the CEO and laminitis of Philip Hammond-backed crypto broker Copper, besides invested successful the Series B round. According to Dealroom, Alameda Research archetypal invested $3m arsenic the sole capitalist successful 3Commas’ Series A successful November 2020, but this concern does not diagnostic connected Alameda’s portfolio spreadsheets. 

3Commas did not respond to Sifted’s petition for comment. Target declined to remark connected the investment. 

3Commas customers could put connected the FTX speech done the 3Commas platform.

In a blog post addressed to customers successful the aftermath of FTX’s illness successful November, the institution offered them small successful the mode of reassurance: “We’ve received requests from users asking america if there’s thing we tin bash to assistance them and, unfortunately, the reply is no.”

In regards to its ain FTX investment, the institution said: “Alameda Research was 1 of respective investors successful our Series B backing round, but they were not the lone investor. It was a consecutive currency for equity deal, and determination is nary hazard of withdrawal by the investors.”  

6. SEBA Bank 

Franz Bergmüeller, CEO of SEBAFranz Bergmüeller, CEO of SEBA

HQ: Switzerland
Founded: 2018
Sector: Digital assets banking-as-a-service    
Other backers: Altive, Ordway Selections, Summer Capital, DeFi Technologies
FTX cheque: $1m arsenic portion of its $110m Series C successful January 2022

SEBA Bank provides integer assets banking and concern services and has offices successful Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, according to its Series C backing announcement. It received a Swiss banking and securities trader licence for its activities successful August 2019.

SEBA did not respond to requests for remark connected its operations oregon the FTX investment, but its CEO Franz Bergmueller played down its transportation successful a caller LinkedIn post: “Alameda Research made a tiny concern successful SEBA Bank’s Series C backing round, acquiring a number involvement (<1%) with nary voting rights.” 

7. BiLira

HQ: Turkey
Founded: 2019
Sector: Stablecoin
Other backers: Future Perfect Ventures, Borderless Capital, Finberg, 21Shares and more
FTX cheque: $1m arsenic portion of a $2.5m circular successful April 2022 

BiLira is simply a stablecoin that’s pegged to the Turkish lira. It’s raised $1.2m since launching successful 2019. The institution did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected the FTX investment.

8. Node Guardians

A screenshot shared connected Node Guardian's TwitterA screenshot shared connected Node Guardian’s Twitter

HQ: France
Founded: 2022
Sector: Gaming/DAO
Other backers: Unknown
FTX cheque: $1m, day unknown

It’s not instantly wide what Node Guardians — which seems to person launched successful precocious November aft the illness of FTX — does, beyond its pretty terrifying logo and graphics.

According to its Twitter, users tin “join the Order of Node Guardians” to thatch themselves astute declaration programming done its gamified platform.

Node Guardians’ CEO, who is besides the cofounder of French crypto website Journal Du Coin, did not respond to Sifted’s petition for comment. 

Alameda’s cheques beneath $1m successful Europe went to …

9. Dune Analytics

HQ: Norway
Founded: 2018
Sector: Crypto analytics platform
Other backers: Coatue, Dragonfly Capital, Multicoin Capital, Coinbase Ventures and more
FTX cheque: $652k, day unknown

Dune Analytics did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

10. Revault Network

HQ: Portugal   
Founded: 2021
Sector: Crypto protocol  
Other backers: Unknown
FTX cheque: $500k, day chartless

Revault Network did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

11. Vosbor

HQ: Netherlands
Founded: 2019
Sector: Crypto/agricultural commodities trading
Other backers:  Lux Capital, 7percent Ventures, FJ Labs, Athos Capital, Market One Capital, Soren Schroder, Nucleus Capital, Chris Mahoney
FTX cheque: $487k, day unknown

Vosbor did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

12. Tsm.gg (Swift Entertainment)

Founded: Unknown
Sector: Esports        
Other backers:  Unknown
FTX cheque: $250k, day unknown

Tsm.gg did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

13. Merge

Founded: 2022
Sector: Crypto API
Other backers:  Octopus Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, #Hashed, Ethereal Ventures
FTX cheque: $350k arsenic portion of a $9.5m effect round successful May 2022. 

Former PayPal enforcement Kebbie Sebastian is Merge’s founder.

Merge did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

14. Aligned AI

Founded: 2022
Sector: AI Foundation
Other backers: N/A
FTX cheque: $146k successful January 2022

Aligned AI did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX.

15. Rejuveron Life Sciences

HQ: Switzerland  
Founded: 2019
Sector: Biotech        
Other backers: Gaingels, Apeiron Investment Group, What If Ventures, re.Mind Capital
FTX cheque: $90k successful January 2022

German tech capitalist and entrepreneur Christian Angermayer is president of Rejuveron’s board. The startup declined to remark connected the Alameda investment. 

16. Euler

HQ: UK  
Founded: 2020
Sector: Crypto protocol        
Other backers: Coinbase Ventures, Jane Street Capital, Uniswap, Variant, Jump Crypto, Haun Ventures, Paradigm
FTX cheque: Amount chartless successful June 2022

Euler did not respond to Sifted’s petition for remark connected FTX. 

FTX and Alameda did not respond to Sifted’s requests for comment. 

Amy O’Brien is Sifted’s fintech reporter. She tweets from @Amy_EOBrien and writes our fintech newsletter you tin motion up here