Has there ever been a more aptly named entrepreneur than Sam Bankman-Fried? Not only is his FTX turning out to be a lender of last resort for crypto lenders such as BlockFi and Voyager Digital, both of which are caught up in a chain reaction of missed margin calls triggered by the crypto slide, but it could also emerge as a savior for Robinhood. That at least is according to this Bloomberg report, which said FTX is reportedly looking to buy the stock brokerage. (Bankman-Fried later put out a statement appearing to deny the report without actually doing so.)
Bankman-Fried, of course, personally bought a 7.6% stake in Robinhood in mid-May. Buying the rest of the company will require the agreement of the two founders, Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, who own just 15% of the equity but more than half of the votes. Given the state of play with Robinhood, though, you can’t rule out the possibility that they’ll decide to take the money and run. Certainly, that might be in the best interests of Robinhood’s regular shareholders, particularly those who bought in at the IPO price of $38 last July and are still hanging on at around $8 lately.