Mad Lads NFT Creators Raise $17M for Backpack Crypto Exchange Platform

Placeholder VC led the round with participation from Jump Crypto, Delphi Digital, Wintermute, Hashed, Robot Ventures, Selini Capital, and Amber Group.
Image source: Backpack

Quick take:

  • The Series A round values Backpack at $120 million according to a press release.
  • The company will use the funds to accelerate the development of its crypto exchange platform and non-custodial wallet.
  • The fundraising comes following Bakcpack’s NFT mint in April 2023.

Backpack has completed a $17 million Series A round for a crypto exchange platform and non-custodial crypto wallet. Placeholder VC led the fundraising with participation from Jump Crypto, Delphi Digital, Wintermute, Hashed, Robot Ventures, Selini Capital, Amber Group and several angel investors.

According to a press release, the fundraising values Backpack at $120 million. The company, then Coral, also raised $20 million in a seed round led by now-defunct FTX in 2022, bringing the total raised to date to $37 million.

Backpack said the fresh capital is crucial in its expansion into new jurisdictions as it looks to meet the licensing and compliance requirements in targeted markets. 

Founded by former FTX/Alameda research associates Armani Ferrante and Tristan Yver who left the defunct organisation before it collapsed, UAE-based Backpack seems to be taking a more measured approach to offering crypto exchange services, as it prepares to enter the US in select states.

“Creating an exchange today is very different than creating an exchange a year or two years ago,” Ferrante said. “Especially after the catastrophe that was FTX, I think the bars are so much higher now.” 

Backpack’s other co-founder Can Sun worked as a legal counsel for FTX. According to Sun, the period after the FTX debacle was challenging for the co-founders with a lot of people and organisations they approached opting to dissociate. However, things have since turned a corner. 

“We’ve gone into business meetings where counterparts, because of our former FTX work experience, have decided that it was too risky to work with us,” Sun told Bloomberg. “We’ve not seen that as much since then.”


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