Sam Bankman-Fried was once caught playing 'League of Legends' at a meeting with Sequoia investors.
He pitched a vision for crypto platform FTX where people would be be able to "do anything" with their money.
Now, Bankman-Fried is reportedly telling investors FTX needs a $8 billion to avoid bankruptcy.
Sam Bankman-Fried was once caught playing "League of Legends," during a meeting with investors from Sequoia Capital, according to a since-removed profile of the founder on the firm's website.
Bankman-Fried, who founded FTX, one of the main cryptocurrency platforms, was telling investors from the venture capital firm that he wanted the product to be "a place where you can do anything you want with your next dollar," like buying bitcoin, physical goods, or sending any currency to anyone anywhere in the world.
"I sit ten feet from him, and I walked over, thinking, 'oh, shit, that was really good,'" Ramnik Arora, FTX's head of product, told Sequoia for the firm's glowing self-published article about Bankman-Fried. "And it turns out that that f-cker was playing 'League of Legends,' through the entire meeting."
Arora said Bankman-Fried was "absolutely fantastic" while answering questions from the Sequoia partners during a Zoom meeting when FTX was raising its Series B.
The story from the profile, which recently gained attention again online amid FTX's failed deal with Binance and the plunging net worth of Bankman-Fried, highlights how the unconventional crypto tycoon was hugely successful in gaining investor support early on in his startup career.
Bankman-Fried also impressed the Sequoia partners during the meeting, including Michelle Bailhe, who set up the last-minute call between the crypto tycoon and the firm.
"We had a great meeting with Sam," Bailhe said in the article. "But the last question, which I remember Alfred [Lin] asking, was, 'So, everything you're building is great, but what is your long-term vision for FTX?'"
Bankman-Fried answered with his idea to make FTX a 'super-app' where people could do anything with their money.
"You can buy bitcoin," Bankman-Fried said. "You can send money in whatever currency to any friend anywhere in the world. You can buy a banana. You can do anything you want with your money from inside FTX."
The Zoom chat among the Sequoia partners was full of praise and excitement for Bankman-Fried, according to the article.
"We were incredibly impressed," Bailhe said. "It was one of those your-hair-is-blown-back type of meetings."
Arora said he was watching Bankman-Fried play "League of Legends" while he was answering the last question from Lin, and Bankman-Fried was in a "gank," gamer slang for "gang killing," in the multiplayer video game.
FTX raised a billion dollars in its Series B round, with Sequoia Capital the lead investor.
Despite his success in that meeting with the Sequoia partners and FTX's B round, Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange is now telling investors it needs $8 billion or it will most likely file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported.
Sequoia Capital marked down its $214 million investment in the platform to $0 on Wednesday, saying in a letter to its investors that "the full nature and extent of this risk is not known at this time," in relation to the FTX's liquidity crunch following a failed deal to be acquired by rival crypto platform Binance.
The glowing profile of Bankman-Fried has since been replaced on Sequoia's website with a somber note linking to the firm's letter to investors alerting them to the cratered investment.
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