(Bloomberg) -- FTX US raised money from outside investors for the first time, collecting $400 million from SoftBank, Paradigm and others in a deal valuing the cryptocurrency exchange at $8 billion.

The Series A round also included Temasek, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and more, according to a statement. The company is the U.S. crypto trading arm of billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange giant FTX, which was itself valued at $25 billion in October.

President Brett Harrison said FTX US plans to use the cash to amp up its marketing, build out its derivatives business and non-fungible token marketplace, while also funding an expansion into old-school stocks.

“We’ve had this amazing growth in 2021, but we have these very large ambitions for 2022 and beyond,” Harrison said during an interview.

The company’s 2021 advertising featured famous athletes and sport stadium sponsorships. That coincided with enormous growth. Average daily volume soared by more than 600% on FTX US in 2021 -- with total 24-hour volume peaking at $812 million in November -- while user count increased to 1.2 million, according to a statement.

To fuel the next leg of growth, FTX US plans to tap more traditional avenues like Google ads to drive “the serious user acquisition that we’d like to do in 2022,” Harrison said.

While the cryptocurrency universe has shed over $1 trillion in market value in recent months, Harrison isn’t concerned that it will impact FTX US’s growth. 

“Canonical wisdom on crypto Twitter is during downturns, during slowdowns, during bear markets, it’s a good time to build,” Harrison said. “Our plan is to keep building out our product set, keep improving user interface, to keep adding new kinds of offerings on the exchange, like derivatives, like stocks. And we think that’s going to prepare us for the inevitable next upturn in the crypto markets in general and equity global markets as a whole.”

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