• FTX crypto exchange is in talks with three brokerage startups
  • CNBC names Webull, Apex Clearing, and as among those eyed 
  • The discussions were in an early phase and did not result in a term sheet

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is reportedly looking to purchase brokerage startups after recently introducing FTX Stocks.

According to CNBC, the Bahamas-based exchange has reached out to at least three privately held trading startups to strike acquisition deals. The discussions, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, were currently still in an early phase and did not result in a term sheet, i.e., a nonbinding agreement that shows the basic terms and conditions of an investment.

The report said Webull, Apex Clearing, and were among the firms that FTX spoke to. All three firms declined to comment to CNBC, it said. FTX did not respond to the outlet.

Virtual asset services providers (VASPs) are increasingly looking to provide stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and cryptocurrency trading under one roof. Robinhood, an American financial services company, pioneered this move, and FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood.

Additionally, FTX US introduced FTX Stocks which will allow users to trade hundreds of U.S. listed stocks and ETFs within the same platform.

“The U.S. has the largest retail base in the world and you don’t want to have to split into two different apps to trade two different asset classes,” Brett Harrison, president of FTX U.S., told CNBC in a phone interview last week. “This is not a revenue-generating model for us, it’s more of a user acquisition strategy.”

As per an official press release, FTX Stocks will be initially available to selected users from the waitlist in the U.S. and will route all orders through Nasdaq for transparent trade execution and fair pricing. FTX Stocks has partnered with Embed Clearing LLC, which will "route, execute, clear and custody all FTX Stocks customer accounts and trades."

"Our goal is to offer a holistic investing service for our customers across all asset classes. With the launch of FTX Stocks, we have created a single integrated platform for retail investors to easily trade crypto, NFTs, and traditional stock offerings through a transparent and intuitive user interface," Harrison added in the press release.