Polymarket secures $70m from Peter Thiel and Vitalik Buterin

The funding was raised in two separate rounds of $25m and $45m

Crypto prediction markets platform Polymarket has successfully raised $70m in two funding rounds. Among the investors are high-profile figures from the crypto industry such as Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

The Series A funding round was led by General Catalyst and amassed $25m with contributions from Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, for example.

Founders Fund which led the Series B round managed to raise $45m. Some of the investors attracted to this round were Dragonfly Capital and Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz.

Polymarket allows its users to speculate on real-world events within a wide range of topics, including but not limited to political elections and regulatory changes.

Some of the most popular recent bets on the platform are regarding various outcomes of the US presidential elections with wagers already surging over $170m.

Other recent predictions include speculations on the prison sentences of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Even though Polymarket has been quite successful, it has not been able to steer away from regulatory challenges. In September 2022, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) slapped Polymarket with a hefty fine of $1.4m

The reason behind the CFTC decision was that Polymarket was offering unregistered event-based binary options. As a result, Polymarket was forced to limit its services within the US.

However, this did not faze Polymarket founder and CEO Shayne Coplan. Polymarket just started expanding its international presence.

The recent funding is going to support these ambitions and help Polymarket broaden its market reach. Additionally, the platform plans to improve its operational framework.

In connection with these strategic plans, Polymarket has appointed Richard Jaycobs, a seasoned financial executive with experience at The Clearing Corporation and Cantor Exchange, as the head of market expansion.

The successful Polymarket funding rounds come as the CFTC has made a proposal to ban derivatives on political contests and sports games in a crackdown on event contracts.  

According to Joey Krug, a partner at Founders Fund, the US has a puritanical attitude towards gambling in general, which is also carried over to prediction markets. He also commented that this does not affect Polymarket that much as it currently focuses on markets outside the US. However, Krug is still hopeful that US residents will eventually be able to participate.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.

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