MoonPay, a start-up that lets users buy cryptocurrency through conventional payment methods like credit cards, has raised just over half a billion dollars in its first ever funding round.
The whopping $555 million (£414.7m) comes off the back of record funding for blockchain start-ups this year. Just last week, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange Gemini raised $400 million whilst Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys landed $200 million.
Led by Tiger Global and Coatue, the investment places Miami-based MoonPay at a $3.4 billion (£2.54bn) valuation in its third year as a company.
As well as credit cards, MoonPay’s software also lets users buy and sell cryptocurrency through bank transfers and mobile wallets like Apple Pay.
This technology is also sold to other businesses in a model that MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright calls “crypto-as-a-service”. It can be seen operating on crypto website Bitcoin.com or NFT marketplace OpenSea.
In an interview with CNBC, Soto-Wright said: “With the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, I think right now we are still in the dial-up days. Eventually we will get to this place where it’s frictionless to move any amount of value around anywhere in the world, and costs move as close as possible to zero.”
MoonPay has come to be described as the “PayPal for crypto” amongst the blockchain community. It is expecting to hit $150 million (£112m) in annual revenue this year after transaction volumes have increase 35-fold since 2020. The software has been used by more than seven million customers worldwide.
However, whilst Moonpay may be iterating PayPal in the cryptocurrency space, the original fintech pioneer has been trying to carve out its own space in the digital asset landscape this year.
Despite Paypal turning more than $20 billion in revenue last year, Soto-Wright seems unphased.
“We believe the future of crypto is about customers taking possession of their private keys,” he told CNBC.
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