The people familiar with the matter noted that interested buyers in the Anthropic stake signed non-disclosure agreements before the announcement that FTX was pausing the sale.
Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has paused the sale of its stake in Anthropic, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup. Bloomberg revealed that the company is suspending selling its most sought-after assets worth $500 million despite multiple parties being interested in the deal. According to the report, Parella Weinberg Partners, the investment bank in charge of the FTX bankruptcy, gave the update to bidders who have been eyeing the Anthropic stake.
The AI firm has become a highly sought-after company amid the ongoing boom in the artificial intelligence industry. Since it was founded by former OpenAI employees in 2021, privately-held Anthropic has been making waves, and it recently closed a funding round worth $450 million. The company said in May that it raised the funds to support the development of Claude, an AI bot. While Spark Capital led the Series C funding round, the participants were Sound Ventures, Zoom Ventures, Google, Salesforce Ventures, etc.
FTX Halts Sale of Anthropic Stake
FTX resorted to pausing the sale of its stake in Anthropic after months of due diligence by potential bidders. People familiar with the matter noted that different potential buyers had assessed private details about the stake. Buyers who seek opportunities to buy shares in private companies like Anthropic were waiting to explore the FTX sale. A June report by Semafor says the AI startup is worth $4.6 billion.
An internal document showed that FTX and Alameda invested $500 million in Anthropic. Following the revelation, Parella Weinberg began the effort to sell the exchange’s shares in the AI startup worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The Anthropic stock represented one of the FTX’s biggest investments, apart from its $1.5 billion investment in Genesis Digital.
Furthermore, the people familiar with the matter noted that interested buyers in the Anthropic stake signed non-disclosure agreements before the announcement that FTX was pausing the sale. Before the latest update, it was uncertain if FTX was selling its entire stake in the AI company. Also, the proceeds from the transaction were to pay its former customers. Per a recent report, FTX had nearly $2 billion to make up for misappropriations. The exchange’s new CEO John Ray said about $7B had been recovered from the alleged $8.7B in user funds mishandled. In a press release, the CEO said the report shows the company’s effort to be transparent as it restructures. In addition, the company cited political donations and VC investments that were possibly funded by customers’ deposits.