Paradigm co-founder feels 'deep regret' investing in SBF and FTX

Some challenged whether the multi-billion dollar venture capital firm did enough due diligence on FTX prior to investment.

The co-founder of asset management firm Paradigm says they feel “deep regret” for having invested in FTX amid recent revelations involving FTX, Alameda Research, and Sam Bankman-Fried. 

In a Twitter post on Nov. 15, Matt Huang, co-founder and managing partner of Paradigm said the firm is “shocked” by the revelations surrounding the two companies and their founder, adding:

“We feel deep regret for having invested in a founder and company who ultimately did not align with crypto’s values and who have done enormous damage to the ecosystem.”

Matt Huang, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Paradigm Source: Paradigm

Paradigm is a crypto and Web3-focused venture capital firm based in San Francisco. In April reports suggested the firm’s assets under management totaled approximately $13.2 billion

In Nov. 2021, the firm announced a $2.5 billion New Venture Fund, which dethroned Andreesen Horowitz’s (a16z) as the largest venture fund in crypto.

The firm’s website currently lists FTX and FTX.US in its portfolio. Reports suggest its investment in the exchange is around the $278 million mark.

Huang said that Paradigm’s equity investment in FTX only constituted “a small part of our total assets,” adding that it has now written its FTX investment down to $0.

He also assured that the firm has never traded on FTX or has ever invested in tokens linked to the exchange, including FTX Token (FTT), Serum token (SRM), Maps.ME Token (MAPS), or the Oxygen Protocol token (OXY).

“We never traded on FTX and did not have any assets on the exchange. We have never been investors in related tokens such as FTT, SRM, MAPS, or OXY.”

Related: FTX bankruptcy freezes millions worth of crypto company funds

Since posting the tweet, a number of Twitter users challenged whether the firm did enough due diligence prior to investing in FTX.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, CK Zheng, co-founder of digital assets hedge fund ZX Squared Capital reflected that in hindsight, many venture capital firms may not have done the proper due diligence on FTX and its executive team, commenting:

“They don’t have a very good governance process, don’t have a board. It’s basically a one-man show.”

“I’m sure when a young company starts to build the company with sophisticated technology […] I can see how things can go bad quickly if they don’t have a good understanding of the technology married with finance.”

“Obviously, they’re smart in one aspect, but they’re running a $32 billion company is very different than, you know, when you manage a small company,” he added.

Investors to have recently marked down their FTX investments include Sequoia Capital, which wrote off its roughly $210 million investment on Nov. 10, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which invested $95 million in the crypto exchange, and SoftBank Group Corp., which is expected to write down a nearly $100 million investment.

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