In a surprising move, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has put a stop to the sale of its highly sought-after stake in artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Anthropic. The stake, valued at an impressive $4.6 billion, had attracted significant interest from potential buyers in the secondary market. However, FTX’s decision to halt the sale has left many wondering about the reasons behind this sudden change.
Anthropic, founded by former OpenAI employees, has quickly risen to prominence in the booming field of AI. With its recent successful fundraising round of $450 million for the development of its AI bot named Claude, the startup’s valuation skyrocketed to $4.6 billion. This remarkable achievement has made Anthropic one of the most sought-after companies in the AI landscape.
After several months of allowing multiple potential buyers to review private information regarding the Anthropic stake, the process was abruptly halted, according to sources. In earlier reports from June, Semafor stated that FTX had been actively seeking buyers for its Anthropic holding, hoping to secure a sale in the range of “nine figures.”
FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, had previously invested a significant sum of $500 million in Anthropic. This investment represented one of the largest bets made by FTX, second only to its $1.5 billion investment in crypto miner Genesis Digital. FTX’s bankruptcy filing last November revealed this substantial investment, underscoring the importance of Anthropic to the exchange.
Over the past few months, numerous potential buyers had shown keen interest in acquiring FTX’s stake in Anthropic. The secondary market for shares in private companies buzzed with excitement, with buyers even willing to pay a premium to secure a stake in the promising startup. However, FTX’s decision to halt the sale has left these potential buyers disappointed and curious about the motives behind this unexpected development.
Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, acting as an adviser to FTX, informed interested bidders about the pause in the sale. Potential buyers were required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to gain access to private financial information about Anthropic. Such NDAs are common practice in the industry to protect sensitive data during transactions involving private companies.
The sudden halt of FTX’s stake sale in Anthropic has raised questions about the reasons behind this decision. With Anthropic’s rising prominence in the AI sector and its impressive valuation, the interest from potential buyers was substantial.
FTX’s investment in the startup showcases its belief in Anthropic’s potential. However, the details surrounding FTX’s decision remain undisclosed. As the story unfolds, industry watchers and potential buyers eagerly await further developments in the fate of FTX’s stake in this highly sought-after AI startup.