FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Buys a $650M USD Stake in Robinhood
Resulting in the price of shares spiking over 30% after hours.
On Thursday, May 12, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, signed a securities filing with the SEC to buy a 7.6% stake in Robinhood. The significant stake, valued at approximately $650 million USD, created a spike in the stock’s share price of up to 30%.
The acquiring parties named in the filing include Bankman-Fried and Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd, a fund in which the billionaire is the sole director and majority owner.
Under “purpose of transaction” in the filing, Bankman-Fried expressed that he acquired the shares because they “represent an attractive investment.” The purpose also notes that there is no intention to change or influence Robinhood’s current operations at this time.
In a nod to the billionaire’s investment, Robinhood’s communications team tweeted: “Of course, we think it’s an attractive investment too.”
Of course we think it is an attractive investment too. We have the best customer base, are introducing great new products, and we have the team to deliver.
— Robinhood Comms (@RobinhoodComms) May 12, 2022
The market reacted positively to the news, with the stock price rallying to nearly $12 USD after hours. The 30-year-old billionaire founder is known as an innovator and recently expressed his thoughts on the possibility of building a “decentralized social network” with fellow billionaire Elon Musk.
The SEC filing does leave the door open, stating that although there is currently no intention to become more involved with Robinhood’s day-to-day operations, that may change “in the future.”
Bankman-Fried once worked for a Wall Street trading company before launching his own crypto trading firm Alameda Research, which eventually led to FTX. It is likely that Robinhood’s ethos of a decentralized Wall Street and pursuits of more crypto and digital asset offerings align with the billionaire’s own objectives.