It’s been almost four months since Brett Harrison resigned as president of FTX US, the American division of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange. Now he has raised $5 million for his own startup, Architect, which aims to create a trading infrastructure for major crypto investors.
“It is a software company that aims to build institutional infrastructure to connect different crypto locations through decentralized and centralized exchanges,” Harrison told MastStatus. “We try to make it easy to communicate with qualified custodians or self-custodians. We are building this single interoperability platform for crypto services with a focus on trading.”
The startup has raised capital in a pre-product funding round from Coinbase Ventures, Circle Ventures, SV Angel, SALT Fund, P2P, Third King Venture Capital and Motivate Venture Capital. Angel investors Shari Glazer, the CEO of Kalos Labs, and Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director and founder of Skybridge, are also among the investors.
Prior to FTX, Harrison worked at traditional financial institutions such as Citadel Securities and Jane Street. He also spent about 11 years developing algorithmic trading software for global stock and derivatives markets.
“When I talk to many of FTX’s former clients and think about my own background, one of the biggest barriers to entry for people to trade is building the infrastructure to access all these different locations,” Harrison said. “There’s a huge technological learning curve to doing this.”
Architect aims to appeal to everyone from large traders and hedge funds to trading firms, asset managers, VCs or “anyone who needs to build infrastructure for crypto on more than one exchange,” Harrison said.
A startup like this could meet the current market demand from major players for more unified and accessible platforms to connect their crypto services, rather than having a handful of tabs and servers open. The startup is launching a pre-product, so the flagship service needs to be seamless and provide a simpler user experience to trump other crypto services.
The capital will be used for recruitment and product development. Architect will first develop “customizable infrastructure products” to allow institutions to trade on both centralized and decentralized crypto markets. The company plans to launch its service in the second quarter of this year.
“I thought we could make a difference in increasing the security and maturity of the space by helping traders adapt to the evolution of the crypto market structure without having to build that software ourselves,” Harrison said. “So traders and trading firms can focus on monetization, alpha and building core components.”