Polymarket Raises $45M in Series B Led by Peter Thiel and Vitalik Buterin

Polymarket, a cryptocurrency-based prediction market platform, has successfully raised $45 million in a Series B funding round amid a surge in popularity leading up to the U.S. presidential election. The round was led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, with notable contributions from Ethereum’s creator Vitalik Buterin, 1confirmation, ParaFi, and Dragonfly Capital, according to Polymarket founder Shayne Coplan, who communicated with CoinDesk via Telegram. The company’s valuation in this round was not disclosed.

This latest investment follows a previously undisclosed $25 million Series A funding round led by General Catalyst and includes a $4 million seed round from 2020, bringing Polymarket’s total raised funds to over $70 million. To support its next growth phase, Polymarket has appointed Richard Jaycobs as the head of market expansion, who previously held executive roles at traditional finance firms, including President of Cantor Exchange and CEO of The Clearing Corporation.

Polymarket is recognized as a leading platform for building prediction markets on cryptocurrency infrastructure. In these markets, participants place bets on the outcomes of real-world events within a specified timeframe, ranging from sports games to political events. For instance, a current market on Polymarket is gauging whether the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot exchange-traded fund for Ethereum by May 31, with “Yes” shares trading at 16 cents, suggesting a 16% probability of approval.

These markets are touted not just as gambling venues but as tools for gaining a more accurate understanding of public sentiment and providing more reliable forecasts than traditional polls and punditry, a standpoint long advocated by economist Robin Hanson.

Despite a regulatory setback in 2022 that barred Polymarket from serving U.S. residents under a Commodity Futures Trading Commission settlement, the platform continues to see significant betting activity. This year alone, $202 million has been wagered on various events, with over $125 million staked on the presidential election. This exclusion from the U.S. market contrasts with Kalshi, the only CFTC-regulated prediction market, which faces potential regulatory challenges from the CFTC’s recent proposals to ban election-related bets, a rule that would not affect Polymarket.

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