NEAR Protocol raises $350M to expand its developer-friendly blockchain platform

Ramp raises $70M to build crypto payment infrastructure for business

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Ramp Network, a crypto-focused fintech startup that builds payment infrastructure, said Wednesday that it has raised $70 million in new funds to add more payment methods to its product line and hire more talent.

The company’s Series B round was co-led by Mubadala Capital and Korelya Capital, with participation from Balderton Capital and Cogito Capital. The new round brought the total amount raised by the company in the past 12 months to nearly $123 million following a $53 million Series A funding round in December 2021.

Ramp delivers a full-stack payment infrastructure product, that allows users to buy crypto assets within decentralized applications and websites with a toolkit for developers to provide onramps and offramps, thus the name of the company. The core product allows businesses to permit customers to purchase crypto using traditional payment methods via debit and credit cards, bank transfers and Apple Pay.

The company envisions itself as the PayPal or Stripe of crypto, providing businesses the opportunity to deliver a simplified e-commerce experience to users that allows them to easily onboard from traditional finance.

Crypto payments are fundamental to what is known as Web3, a term used to describe the decentralized web built by blockchain technology that supports token economies and decentralized apps. In order to participate in Web3 and token economies, users must first purchase crypto tokens.

In many cases, that involves users joining a cryptocurrency exchange, funding an account, trading local currency for tokens and then using that to enter the Web3 ecosystem. Users might even need to go to another decentralized exchange to trade again to get the token they want.

That process can turn off everyday users because it requires intermediate to advanced crypto knowledge. With an easy-to-use on-ramp like Ramp, users could buy and sell tokens inside an app and just get going.

“Our goal is to keep building infrastructure to make Web3 easy and accessible,” said Szymon Sypniewicz, co-founder and chief executive at Ramp. “Despite current market conditions, we see a growing trend of web2 companies looking to move into Web3, and we’re uniquely positioned to help them through this transformation. That’s why we’re doubling down on growth.”

In spite of what has been dubbed “crypto winter” by market analysts, a depression in crypto markets that has led to bitcoin falling over 70% from its all-time high in 2021 to near $17,000, Sypniewicz said Ramp is doing well.

Transaction volumes for the company during 2022 year-to-date have risen by almost 240% from the same period in 2021. At the same time, the total number of unique users flowing through integration partners has risen by more than 600%, though Ramp didn’t provide more specifics. The company has also increased its total staff to 200 employees.

Ramp’s current customers include video game retailer GameStop, play-to-earn crypto-collectibles game “Axie Infinity,” crypto-based fantasy sports company Sorare and the crypto wallet hardware maker Ledger.

“A bear market is a builder’s market, and we’re fully committed to our vision,” Sypniewicz said.

Ramp said it plans to use the fresh funding to continue building new features for its current product line, add more local currencies and payment methods, expand the number of territories it is available for and hire more staff.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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