Crypto exchange FTX is open to partnering with Robinhood Markets, its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a statement shared with TechCrunch.
Bloomberg News reported earlier that people familiar with the matter said FTX was exploring opportunities to acquire Robinhood, but Bankman-Fried denied those claims.
"We are excited about Robinhood's business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business that Vlad and his team have built,” Bankman-Fried said. “That being said there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood."
In a comment to TechCrunch, a Robinhood spokesperson pointed to its dual-class shareholder setup, in which the company's founders control more than half of its voting power. As such, no deal can be struck to purchase the company without their explicit approval. Given the tenor of the note, TechCrunch doubts that Robinhood's founding duo are salivating at a chance to sell their business.
After the news broke earlier today on the possibility of an acquisition, Robinhood shares spiked 14% before falling nearly 3% in after-hours trading. Last month, Bankman-Fried shared that he bought a 7.6% stake in Robinhood Markets.
Although Robinhood isn’t a crypto-focused company, it offers trading for a handful of cryptocurrencies through its mobile app, alongside commission-free trading for stocks and exchange-traded funds. Crypto-related trading incomes were a key driver in Robinhood’s revenue growth on its path to the public markets, but have since declined.
In an effort to expand the crypto exchange, FTX amassed over $2 billion to spend on acquisitions and stakes in other companies, Bloomberg previously reported. The company also launched a $2 billion venture capital fund earlier this year to back teams building in web3.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.