Fintech unicorn Bolt acquires cryptocurrency startup Wyre for reported $1.5B

Fintech unicorn Bolt acquires cryptocurrency startup Wyre for reported $1.5B

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Financial technology unicorn Bolt Financial Inc. is acquiring cryptocurrency startup Wyre Payments Inc. for about $1.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

Bolt confirmed the acquisition in an announcement released shortly after the Journal reported the deal. The announcement didn’t specify the acquisition price.

San Francisco-based Bolt provides an e-commerce checkout service that enables users to quickly make online purchases. The service allows consumers to skip several of the steps usually involved in making online purchases, such as navigating to an external website through a redirect. Retailers can integrate Bolt’s technology into their online stores to speed up transaction processing and thus improve the user experience for their customers.

Bolt reportedly received a valuation of $11 billion after a $355 million funding round earlier this year. The startup experienced rapid growth in the year leading up to the investment. When it announced the $355 million round, Bolt disclosed that the number of transactions processed through its service had doubled during the preceding 12 months. 

Wyre, the startup Bolt is acquiring, provides cloud services for processing cryptocurrency payments. Developers can use the startup’s services to build financial technology applications. San Francisco-based Wyre says that it has processed more than $10 billion in transactions since launching.

Bolt expects to complete the acquisition later this year. Afterwards, it plans to leverage Wyre’s technology to let retailers that use its e-commerce checkout service accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Bolt also intends to build features that will enable consumers to purchase and store digital assets. 

“This acquisition will pave the way for seamless, secure crypto transactions, and NFT enablement for our retailers,” said Bolt Chief Executive Officer Maju Kuruvilla. “Both consumers and retailers will benefit from a friction-free buying experience that supports crypto and NFT natively.”

Wyre is the second startup that Bolt has acquired. Previously, it bought Tipser Shopping AB, a Sweden-based startup with a platform that helps companies more easily add e-commerce features to their websites. Bolt turned Tipser’s technology into a feature called Bolt Commerce Everywhere.

Bolt has also been expanding its feature set through organic product development efforts. The startup recently released integrations that make it easier to add its service to online stores built using software from Adobe Inc. and BigCommerce Inc., a publicly traded maker of e-commerce tools. Earlier, Bolt introduced data analytics features that retailers can use to track metrics such as the average value of customer purchases.

For a tech firm seeking to expand its product portfolio, acquiring a company with an established product is often faster than creating a new offering from scratch. As a result, it’s possible that Bolt will follow up the purchase of Wyre with yet more acquisitions to accelerate its feature development efforts.

Bolt expects its market presence to grow significantly in the next few quarters. At the time of its most recent $355 million funding round earlier this year, the startup stated that 100 million shoppers are expected to join its platform over the next 18 months.

Image: Bolt

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