Polymarket raises $70M from Vitalik Buterin, Founders Fund

Explore the latest $70 million investment in Polymarket led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
Explore the latest $70 million investment in Polymarket led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin have spearheaded a $70 million fundraising effort for Polymarket, a platform enabling betting on political events.

According to Bloomberg, Polymarket successfully raised $70 million across two funding rounds as betting on the 2024 United States presidential elections gains momentum. The latest Series B Polymarket funding round was spearheaded by Founders Fund, raising $45 million.

Despite bans proposed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on political contest betting, the crypto-based prediction market continues to thrive. In response to the proposed ban, Founders Fund partner Joey Krug said:

“A lot of the reason why certain people don’t like prediction markets in the US kind of dates back to pretty puritanical thinking about betting. In the short- to mid-term it’s good for Polymarket because they are targeting non-US markets. In the long run, it will be good if Americans can participate in this market too.”

According to Krug, the investment by Founders Fund signifies its first venture into event-betting contracts.

Polymarket was fined by the CFTC in the past and agreed to reduce its services in the United States as part of a settlement. Since then, the platform has appointed former CFTC head J. Christopher Giancarlo as chairman of its advisory board in an attempt to mend its relationship with regulators. 

Polymarket has seen significant betting volume, particularly as the U.S. presidential elections draw nearer. Known for facilitating bets on many events, the platform allows users to purchase shares with USD Coin (USDC), without requiring custody of customer funds.

Led by 25-year-old founder Shayne Coplan, Polymarket has witnessed a surge in electoral betting, resulting in over $170 million in wagers placed on the upcoming U.S. elections, according to the platform’s website. Coplan stated:

“When we think about the US market as well as investing, researching into it, we know that is likely not something that will pay dividends immediately. Ultimately we have the deep conviction that markets on all the things that people are wondering about and have opinions on will exist.”

Despite the successful recent funding rounds and the fact that the platform is not currently generating revenue, regulatory setbacks have diminished Polymarket's current valuation, previously put at around $1 billion.