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Semafor LogoMax Tani and Liz Hoffman
businessNorth America

Sam Bankman-Fried had plans for a Matt-and-Nate-heavy Substack competitor

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Title iconThe News
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried
Getty Images/Tom Williams

The spectacular collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX has rippled into the news business, ending a stream of funding that backed nonprofit news organizations including ProPublica and the Law and Justice Journalism Project.

It also means the end of Bankman-Fried’s plan for a Substack competitor populated by his favorite writers. The Substack writer Matt Yglesias confirmed that he had spoken to Bankman-Fried about the project, saying he was “flattered but not interested.” The 538 founder Nate Silver told Semafor that he spoke to an FTX executive about the project, and was similarly not interested. Other names Bankman-Fried floated included Bloomberg’s Matt Levine.

Bankman-Fried had also become an investor in at least one for-profit organization: This one. The former crypto billionaire invested in Semafor earlier this year.

“We closed our seed round in May and received all investments in full in USD. While we are monitoring the evolving situation closely, we don't anticipate an impact on our financial outlook or our business,” Semafor spokesperson Meera Pattni said.

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