Ex-FTX US exec Brett Harrison’s startup raises $12M for derivatives brokerage

Harrison’s FTX ties haven’t kept him from raising fresh funds

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Former FTX.US President Brett Harrison | Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for TechCrunch/"1435136354″ (CC license)

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Ex-FTX US president Brett Harrison has raised an additional $12 million in seed funding for his latest venture, Architect. The startup offers crypto trading infrastructure for institutional investors. It is reportedly slated to launch a derivatives brokerage within the next two months.

The round was led by Blocktower and Tioga Capital, with participation from other investors including Coinbase Ventures, ParaFi Capital and SVAngel. 

Despite his FTX ties, Harrison has managed to avoid becoming a pariah in the funding world. He left the firm prior to its sudden fall and has said the move was planned since April 2022. 

In January 2023, two months after FTX’s mismanagement of customer funds came to light, Harrison released a 49-post thread on X unpacking his strained relationship with former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and saying he had no knowledge of the firm’s criminal activity. 

A week later, Architect announced a $5 million raise. Six of the seven employees listed on Architect’s site formerly worked at FTX US. 

As for the firm’s public presentation, Harrison has taken a positive stance on regulators, and Architect’s website doesn’t use the word “crypto,” opting for the perhaps more professional investor-friendly term “digital assets” instead.

Read more: Former FTX US president sees the glass half full on crypto regulation

Axios reported that Architect plans to launch a brokerage allowing “sophisticated investors” to trade derivatives within the next two months. The firm got the regulatory green light to provide derivatives brokerage services in September.  

“I am extremely proud of our team for reaching this milestone. Onward!,” Harrison wrote in an X post announcing the raise. Architect did not immediately return a request for comment.


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