Former SLA joint chief Martin Gilbert among backers of Edinburgh blockchain start-up

Edinburgh-based start-up Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) has appointed a high-profile chairman and secured angel funding led by investment industry veterans Martin Gilbert and Andrew Laing.

Edinburgh start-up Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) has appointed a high-profile chairman and secured angel funding led by investment industry veterans Martin Gilbert, above, and Andrew Laing.

Paul Forrest has been named as the firm’s inaugural non-executive chairman. He boasts more than 25 years’ experience as a strategy consultant, advising governments and working with multi-national blue-chips including the Ford Motor Company, Wal-Mart, Virgin Galactic and AkzoNobel.

Forrest has also participated in BTP’s latest angel funding round which was led by Aberdeen Asset Management co-founder Gilbert and former deputy Laing.

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Laing is now an active early stage investor while Gilbert – latterly the joint chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen – joined expanding fintech Revolut as group chairman in January.

BTP, which also has an office in New York, provides technology to simplify the deployment and ongoing management of blockchain networks.

In February, the firm partnered with the Israeli stock exchange to support the creation of a “cutting-edge” lending platform. The deal with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) represented the first major enterprise client for the blockchain-focused start-up, which was founded in 2018.

Duncan Johnston-Watt, chief executive and co-founder of BTP, said: “Paul understands the potential for growth in enterprise blockchain adoption, having been involved in this space for several years and at the cutting edge of successive waves of innovative enterprise technologies throughout his career.

“We are delighted Paul has decided to take up this role and help us scale the business and lay the groundwork for future investment.”

In addition to BTP, Forrest serves on the board of several early stage businesses including MBN Solutions where he built out its blockchain practice.

He said: “I am excited to be joining BTP at a pivotal point in their journey. Their management team has demonstrated an ability to develop a scalable product and close early enterprise deals.

“Given the present circumstances I was particularly impressed by their ability to secure a contract with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to deliver their innovative blockchain-based securities lending platform.”

Gilbert said: “BTP has an exceptional opportunity which is why we invested in the company in the first place. We are pleased to see that BTP has strengthened its corporate governance with the appointment of Paul Forrest.

“Paul’s experience complements a leadership team that has the vision and expertise to deliver their clear value proposition.”

Laing added: “I have been impressed with the progress BTP has made… in particular their work with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.”

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