Austria’s first tech unicorn, Bitpanda, hired former JPMorgan executive Joshua Barraclough as CEO of digital-assets exchange Bitpanda Pro, the company said Thursday.
Prior to joining Bitpanda Pro, which targets experienced traders and institutions, Barraclough was co-head of digital innovation at JPMorgan in London, where his role was to come up with bleeding-edge innovative businesses and products and services helping to change traditional finance.
The move from a traditional bank to Bitpanda was a “no-brainer,” Barraclough said in an interview. “As cryptocurrency investments further become part of mainstream financial markets, retail and institutional investors are demanding tools which enable them to pursue traditional investing strategies while navigating trading nuances specific to digital assets,” he said.
Barraclough described the crypto arena as complex, adding that while there are many companies vying for leadership positions, few have the right tech, expertise and culture to reach them.
In August, the Vienna-based investment-trading platform raised $263 million in a Series C funding round led by PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. The round valued the company at $4.1 billion. The fresh capital is being used to double down on technology, international expansion and the growth of its team.
Bitpanda investors include the billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard, REDO Ventures, LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital.
The company was founded as a bitcoin exchange in 2014 by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer, It has expanded beyond crypto to offer the trading of stocks, precious metals and exchange-traded funds.
Bitpanda Pro was introduced in August 2019. It is used by traders and European Union-based companies ranging from private banks to family offices and hedge funds.
Bitpanda currently has a 600-strong team and tech hubs and offices in eight cities including Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London.