Crypto Exchange Startup Backpack Raises $17 Million from Former FTX Employees

Post-FTX Ventures

Former employees of FTX and Alameda Research have launched Backpack, a cryptocurrency exchange, with $17 million in funding. This venture is part of a wave of startups emerging in the wake of FTX’s collapse.

Backpack’s Offerings

Backpack has raised $120 million in Series A funding and offers a range of products, including:

  • Cryptocurrency exchange
  • NFT collection (Mad Lads)
  • Cryptocurrency wallet

Team and Growth

Co-founded by Armani Ferrante (ex-Alameda CEO) and Can Sun (ex-FTX General Counsel), Backpack employs 40 people, including five former FTX employees. Despite their previous associations, the team has gained traction with:

  • Over 420,000 verified users
  • A virtual asset service provider license in Dubai
  • A cryptocurrency exchange now available in the US

Market Landscape

Backpack joins other ventures capitalizing on the void left by FTX’s demise, including:

  • EDX Markets (backed by Citadel Securities and Fidelity Digital Assets)
  • Rulematch (targeting financial institutions)

Sam Bankman-Fried Update

  • Bankman-Fried’s legal team argues for a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence, citing his status as a “misunderstood first-offender.”
  • While incarcerated, Bankman-Fried has reportedly been promoting Solana (SOL) investments.
  • Federal prosecutors will present their sentencing recommendation on March 15, with sentencing scheduled for March 28.