Kaiko is the leading cryptocurrency market data provider for institutional investors and enterprises. Its institutional grade data services enable seamless connectivity to historical and live data feeds across 100+ centralized and decentralized exchanges. Ambre Soubiran has been Kaiko’s Chief Executive Office since 2016.
My keen interest in technology and maths while growing up motivated me to start my career in finance, and specifically in derivates trading. Even while working intensely on the trading floor, I continued to develop my interest in disruptive technologies and tried to keep up with it as much as possible.
I first became interested in blockchain in 2012 after reading a white paper on Bitcoin, which made me realise how it had the potential to revolutionise the way that information is managed and exchanged. When I first left my job at HSBC in 2016, I wanted to create an investment fund to invest in blockchain companies and contacted Pascal Gauthier, the original founder of Kaiko. I acquired Kaiko from Gauthier when he was moving on to become the president at Ledger, where I found myself leading a start-up and educating investors on blockchain. I also took a series of online courses on computer science to better understand how blockchain works and grasp where there are gaps in the market.
At first Kaiko had no employees or clients, it was simply a database that was retrieving data from crypto exchanges. When we did eventually start selling data, we had to send USB sticks to clients by post for them to access it. Six years on, Kaiko is now an institutional grade data service and earlier this year, Deutsche Börse announced that it will be making Kaiko’s crypto data accessible to all its customers and our research reports are also available on Bloomberg Terminals to all users. By the end of 2021, we had 125 institutional clients and we cover 95% of the CeFi and DeFi market data coverage. We have become the reference market data provider for digital finance and are operating in a world in which blockchain and crypto are no longer the outliers they used to be but are instead proving to be the future of technology and finance.
Despite the obstacles and challenges that start-up life brings, the landscape has changed dramatically since I entered it and there is now a greater focus on mental health and family – around half of the employees at Kaiko have children. The crypto space also has become significantly more inclusive and diverse – at Kaiko we have over 60 employees from 14 different nationalities and with a leadership team being made up of 50% women. Everybody at Kaiko speaks English to be inclusive of non-French speakers and not limit our pool of talent; this is a great accomplishment for a French start-up. Kaiko’s ethos has always been to build the best team regardless of gender or nationality, with the hope to increase our team to 100 people by the end of the year.
Kaiko has already raised three rounds of funding, and in June we raised $53 million in a Series B funding while also being pregnant with my second child. With this new round of funding we hope to expand Kaiko’s presence globally, while retaining our offices in Paris, London, New York and Singapore.
The best advice that I can give women who want to work in crypto is to learn as much as you can about technology and not feel intimidated. It is important to explore all the areas of blockchain and crypto until you find the one that you are the most passionate about. Since the first block of bitcoin in 2009, there is now not a single bank without a digital assets team and its integration will continue until it is fully propelled into the mainstream, which can only be achieved if new and diverse talent is introduced to the industry. We are still at the beginning of our journey with Kaiko, but our mission remains to be the foundation of the new digital finance economy by serving as a single source for market information.