United Kingdom-based startup Argent Labs Ltd., the maker of an Ethereum cryptocurrency wallet, announced Thursday that it has raised $40 million in new funding to build out its “Super App” product that allows users to transact with more than 240 different tokens.
The Series B funding round was led by Fabric Ventures and Metaplanet. Other investors joining the round included Animoca Brands, Jump Trading Group, Cerandum, Index Ventures and Paradigm.
Launched in 2017, Argent started as a wallet for the Ethereum blockchain, allowing users to buy, securely store and transact cryptocurrency tokens. Since its launch, it has built out a product set that now enables users to engage in the decentralized token economy known as Web3, which is supported by blockchain technology.
Argent’s features include the ability to buy crypto tokens with credit cards and bank transfers and swapping tokens with the tap of a button. Users can also engage in earning interest on their tokens by “staking” them, essentially putting them into savings accounts, that bear 5% or 15% interest depending on the type of cryptocurrency.
Last year, Argent announced it added further functions enabling what is known as Layer 2 capabilities, part of scaling for Ethereum, which decreases transaction times and reduces fees. Since then, the company has attracted more than 500,000 users.
With this new funding, the company wants to build even more features into its wallet that will provide users with more than just decentralized finance opportunities. Itamar Lesuisse, co-founder and chief executive of Argent, said that the company is exploring features for virtual real estate, gambling, decentralized autonomous organizations and nonfungible tokens.
“For crypto to live up to its potential, it needs to break the stranglehold of big exchanges and incumbent wallets,” he said. “The experience is too scary, expensive and insecure for most people. Argent fixes this.”
By putting all of these different features into a “one-stop-shop” for crypto capabilities, Lesuisse said, Argent is building a “Super App” for Web3 applications.
One of Argent’s biggest selling points for user adoption is its mobile app, which allows users to store cryptocurrency tokens in what is called a noncustodial wallet without the need to memorize or protect a seed phrase. That is a 12- or 24-word phrase that represents the cryptographic key of the wallet that holds their cryptographic tokens, in case the app is corrupted or destroyed.
With a noncustodial wallet, if users lose their secret seed phrase, they lose their money. That, of course, can be stressful. So, Argent removes this stress by relying on “guardians.” These guardians can take the form of hardware wallets, a third-party service or a human who can approve account recovery or untrustworthy transactions.
The company the security of the backups is “bulletproof” and the recovery mechanism allows only the original user to access assets. Even Argent cannot and the guardians cannot get at them. All they can do is enable recovery.
Argent said it will use the funding to expand its operations worldwide, with an initial focus on Latin America, particularly Mexico. The company also intends to double to size of its all-remote team to about 50 this year.