FTX’s Harrison raises $5m for his institutional DeFi startup Architect

Ex-FTX US president Brett Harrison has raised $5 million from backers as Coinbase Ventures and Circle Ventures for a new company aimed at institutions

According to Bloomberg, Harrison’s new venture, Architect, is building trading software to help bridge the decentralized protocols and institutional players such as qualified custodians. The company, Harrison hopes, “will allow people to get their confidence back in trading in this industry.”

The raised funding will be primarily used for recruitment. “I do hope to be able to hire a number of my former FTX US colleagues,” Harrison told Bloomberg. Other backers in the round included Anthony Scaramucci, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Motivate Venture Capital.

“Architect will build institutional-grade trading technology that streamlines crypto market structure, making it easier and safer for firms and large traders to access decentralized protocols and centralized exchanges alike,” Harrison said in a Twitter thread.

Brett Harrison parted his way with FTX US in September last year, just a couple of weeks before Sam Bankman-Fried’s multibillion crypto empire collapsed, sending shockwaves across the market. Unlike other high-profile FTX and Alameda execs, Harrison wasn’t accused of any wrongdoing.

In a Twitter thread last week, Harrison shared the details of his departure, revealing that he left FTX because of a disagreement with Sam Bankman-Fried over management practices at the company.

“I raised concerns at the company believing that the management and organizational issues I saw were typical of growing start-ups, and that my role, as an experienced financial services executive, was to correct them and unlock the next stage of the company’s growth,” Harrison recalled.

“I never could have guessed that underlying these kinds of issues — which I’d seen at other more mature firms in my career and believed not to be fatal to business success — was multi-billion-dollar fraud.”