2021 has been quite the year for Bitcoin startups, which has raised record fundings. Amid the recent surge, some major players in the space have announced massive new fundings deals over the last week.
MoonPay, a newcomer in the space, is taking the crypto mania in venture capital to new heights. The fintech firm, which is just 3 years old, said on Monday that it has raised $555 million in it’s first-ever financing round. The investment was led by Tiger Global and Coature and values the company at $3.4 billion.
MoonPay was founded in 2018. The Miami-based software allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using conventional payment methods like credit cards, bank transfers and even mobile wallets.
MoonPay also sells its technology to other businesses including crypto website Bitcoin.com and NFT marketplace OpenSea. MoonPay CEO, Soto-Wright, has said that the firm aims to make crypto accessible to the masses.
The CEO said in an interview, “With the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, I think right now we are still in the dial-up days,” adding, “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.”
A Crypto PayPal
The prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been hitting all-time highs recently and venture capital investments in the start-ups powering the market is booming. Investors are now looking for the next Coinbase after the crypto exchanges giant made a blockbuster listing in April.
MoonPay claims that it offers a “gateway” to digital assets. That currently includes Bitcoin, Ether and various NFTs. Soto-Wright plans to expand the platform even further to include everything from fashion to tokenized socks.
Soto-Wright said that people have been comparing MoonPay to PayPal, but for crypto. The firm has a number of strong controls and checks in place to tackle money laundering. Regulators have become increasingly wary about illicit activity in the market.
MoonPay has been profitable since it’s launch in 2019. The firm is currently on target to meet $150 million in annual revenue this year after transaction volumes skyrocketed 30-fold from 2020. MoonPay is now used by more than 7 million customers.
Despite its clear popularity, the firm faces stiff competition from fintech pioneers like PayPal. The likes of which have rolled out its own crypto features last year.
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