CNBC is reporting the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, FTX, is targeting stock trading startups for acquisition.
According to CNBC sources, FTX has approached at least three stock trading startups with a view of acquiring them.
The report says the talks are at an early stage and no term sheets were signed. A term sheet is a non-binding agreement indicating basic terms and conditions upon which a potential investment could be made.
Among the stock trading firms that were approached by FTX include Apex Clearing, a digital clearing and custody engine founded in 2012, and Public.com, an investing platform started in 2019. CNBC sources say that FTX also approached Webull Financial, a Chinese-owned stockbroker based in New York that was founded in 2017.
The report comes amid plans by FTX’s US subsidiary to roll out a commission-free equities trading service on its platform known as FTX Stocks.
According to FTX.US president Brett Harrison, the move into stocks is driven by “clear market demand.” The equities trading service is currently being tested on a select number of users before being rolled out to a larger user base in June.
The CNBC report also comes days after the FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that he had acquired a 7.6% stake in commission-free stock and crypto trading app Robinhood.
Incidentally, in June of 2021, the FTX CEO ran a side-by-side comparison of Robinhood and Webull Financial in a Twitter thread and he concluded that the former had better branding.
“Robinhood App’s name is awesome…
Robinhood barely even needs to advertise; their name conveys their brand and message without the need for any additional color.
So, what about Webull?
It’s a great product! And, from what I’ve heard, a great company.
I don’t think it’s a great name.”
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Yevheniia Rodina