Ex-FTX.US Head Raises $5M for Startup Months After Exchange's Collapse

Brett Harrison's project received investments from the venture arms of Coinbase and Circle.

AccessTimeIconJan 20, 2023 at 2:15 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:06 a.m. UTC

Brett Harrison, the former president of FTX.US, has raised $5 million for a new crypto startup called Architect that will build trading software tailored toward large investors and institutions, according to a Bloomberg report Friday.

Investors included venture arms of crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) and stablecoin issuer Circle. Centralized exchange FTX collapsed in November after a CoinDesk report triggered a liquidity crisis that in turn shook the confidence of investors and slowed venture-capital investments.

Architect’s software will make both decentralized and centralized exchanges easier to use for investors with the aim of helping “people to get their confidence back in trading in this industry,” Harrison, who left FTX.US in September after about a year in the job, told Bloomberg.

The product is expected to launch in the second quarter, and Harrison expects Architect to become integrated into the platforms of investors Coinbase and Circle.

Other investors in the funding round included financier Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House aide to former U.S. President Donald Trump, and SALT Fund (managed by his son, AJ Scaramucci), SV Angel, Third Kind Venture Capital and Motivate Venture Capital, among others

In December, The Information reported that Harrison was looking to raise $6 million for Architect at a $60 million valuation. Harrison had tweeted on Jan. 14 that Architect was struggling to raise funds because of his past association with FTX. However, a couple of the investors who participated had their own ties to the fallen exchange. FTX previously purchased a 30% stake in Scaramucci’s hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, and participated in Circle’s $440 million fundraising round in 2021. FTX and Circle had small equity stakes in each other.

Harrison spoke out against FTX and founder Sam Bankman-Fried during a Twitter thread last week.

“It’s clear from what has been made public that the scheme was held closely by Sam and his inner circle at FTX. com and Alameda, which I was not a part of, nor were other executives at FTX.US,” Harrison wrote. “I understand now why they carefully concealed their criminal activity from us. We have extensive professional networks, our own lines of communication with US regulators and our own authority to speak to US media.”


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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.