James Lanigan succeeds founder Marcus Swanepoel as Luno’s CEO

James Lanigan, Chief Executive Officer at Luno
James Lanigan, Chief Executive Officer at Luno

Luno, a crypto wallet and exchange serving clients across 40 countries, announced a series of strategic initiatives to position the company for its next phase of growth. As part of this process, Luno also hired Canaccord Genuity Group to help bring on new institutional and strategic investors alongside Digital Currency Group (DCG) to fund scaling, support expansion, accelerate market share gain, and prepare the firm for an eventual public listing.

Luno’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Swanepoel is moving into a new role as Executive Chairman, and Chief Operating Officer James Lanigan, who has been with the company for five years, is elevated to CEO. As Executive Chairman, Marcus Swanepoel will continue to work closely with James Lanigan to guide Luno’s vision and strategy, while focusing on broadening Luno’s investor base to support the company’s next stage of growth.

What does Lanigan bring to Luno in the role?

Currently the COO, Lanigan established Luno as a market-leading brand across multiple markets, building local teams throughout Africa, Europe, and APAC, while also growing Luno’s product portfolio for easier access to crypto. In this capacity, Lanigan oversaw Operations, Commercial, Countries, Product, Marketing, and Customer Success departments.

Prior to joining Luno in 2018, Lanigan held senior commercial, operational and marketing roles across multiple industries, most recently as the Chief Marketing Officer at Bookatable – now TheFork, a global online restaurant reservation platform acquired by Michelin in 2016.

Commenting on the new role, Lanigan said, “It has been a privilege to serve alongside a founder and leader as strong as Marcus, who cares so deeply about making a positive impact for our customers and employees. I’m passionate about continuing to help Luno build the products and services that guide our customers in a responsible way along every step of their crypto journey, while maintaining our dedication to trust, security and compliance.”

What does the reshuffle mean for Luno?

“Co-founding and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Luno for the past ten years has been the greatest honour of my career and I’m excited for our next chapter as we continue to put the power of crypto in everyone’s hands. The opportunity for crypto is bigger and brighter than ever, and James is a seasoned operator and an outstanding leader with a track record of success across all aspects of running a global fintech business,” said Swanepoel.

Marcus Swanepoel, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Luno

“I have the utmost confidence that James will continue to deepen our trust with customers and key stakeholders alike, driving both Luno’s business and the industry forward,” he said.

“Having first invested in Luno’s seed round in 2014 followed by an acquisition in 2020, we want to thank Marcus for his dynamic leadership and enduring enthusiasm for the crypto landscape as he transformed Luno into a digital asset powerhouse. With James at the helm and strategic partnership from Marcus as Executive Chairman, we look forward to supporting Luno in its ambitious growth journey,” commented Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, DCG.

Luno is a wholly owned investment of DCG. As one of the most preeminent digital asset investors, DCG acquired Luno in 2020 post their Series B funding round and after first investing in the company’s seed round in 2014. Providing capital, strategic guidance, and other resources to evolve its business model, DCG supported Luno scaling to $100 million revenue with a 40% operating margin and more than 11 million wallets across 40 countries.