“PayPal for crypto” platform, Ramp raises $10.1million to bring its cryptocurrency on-ramping infrastructure to more partners and people globally
- Ramp is a non-custodial, full-stack infrastructure that allows developers to onboard users into crypto-based apps seamlessly in-app, without a need for any third-party crypto exchange app, so the crypto top-up takes seconds, not days
- In the same way PayPal revolutionised ecommerce and online payments, Ramp is set to have the same impact for crypto-enabled apps
- Applications that use crypto infrastructure often require their users to own crypto in order to use them. Ramp makes it easy to make buying crypto part of these apps’ user flow, without the need to use crypto exchanges, hence radically reducing friction and dropout rate.
- For 18 months, the service has been growing 50% month-by-month thanks to virality, word-of-mouth and customer referrals.
- The Seed Round was led by NfX with Galaxy Digital. It also saw participation from Seedcamp, Firstminute Capital, Mozilla, plus notable business angels from Coinbase, Wise, Square, Dapper Labs, IKEA and more fintech entrepreneurs and executives, as well as top crypto entrepreneurs.
LONDON, 15/06/2021: Ramp – the startup making crypto more useful, accessible and open through its “PayPal for crypto” service – has raised $10.1million to bring its next-level payment infrastructure to even more people globally.
The Seed Round was led by NfX with Galaxy Digital. It also saw participation from returning investors Seedcamp, firstminute capital and Fabric Ventures, as well as Mozilla, plus notable business angels associated with Coinbase (Balaji S. Srinivasan), Wise (Taavet Hinrikus), Dapper Labs (Roham Gharegozlou), IKEA (Bartek Pucek) and more entrepreneurs and executives from fintech and crypto industries*.
Ramp was founded in 2017 by Szymon Sypniewicz (CEO) and Przemek Kowalczyk (CTO, CPO) to open up digital assets to more businesses and users. Until now, cryptocurrencies have largely been the reserve of enthusiasts, not everyday people, and have centred around crypto exchanges – the likes of Coinbase, eToro et al.
These services let customers exchange fiat money (EUR, GBP, USD etc.) to cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets. However, all of them are built for users who want to speculate on the prices of crypto assets and buy, hold and sell coins. This is an extremely narrow remit that fails to address the potential and power of crypto justice.
To solve this, Ramp has built a non-custodial, full-stack payment infrastructure that unlocks the potential to use crypto for mainstream users. Through its SDK, any brand or partner who wants to offer crypto-enabled services as part of their business model can do so easily and securely. All while not requiring their own certifications and licences, as it is Ramp that facilitates the transaction for the end users. In the same way PayPal revolutionised ecommerce and online payments by allowing any website, app or service to embed payment infrastructure into their existing systems, Ramp is set to have the same impact for crypto assets.
The shift from buying crypto to using crypto
With Ramp, any brand that wants to offer a crypto-enabled app or service can embed the startup’s payment infrastructure within their existing systems. Ramp’s platform – which is registered with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a cryptoasset business and is registered as an open banking business with The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) – can then be used for myriad crypto use cases. As Ramp expands into more regions, it will be announcing new registrations and licences.
These use cases today range from enabling users of Opera browser to top-up crypto wallets from within the app, up to players being able to play the Sorare NFT game and buy and sell virtual players via Ethereum. In the future, Ramp could help facilitate crypto transactions for banks’ or other financial institutions’ end-users within their banking apps; and most excitingly could enable completely new use cases that until recently were impossible to get mainstream because of UX friction that Ramp takes out of the equation.
The company has already partnered with more than 200 developers, including Mozilla, Opera Labs, Dapper Labs (the company behind NBA Top Shot and the new Flow blockchain), Sorare and top crypto and DeFi apps like Aave, Argent and Zerion. It will use the funding to further expand this network of bigger and better partners; reach more brands and make crypto less niche and exclusive. This includes tripling the team by the end of 2021, setting up headquarters in new regions, and developing the platform further.
“Few things are as impactful on economic growth, the human effort, and technological innovation as financial services. If we’re to continue to grow as a society, we need to make sure our financial systems are following suit. Crypto is one of the most promising technological frontiers for advancing finance and payments. For years however, the industry was focused on speculation, creating products like crypto exchanges. Unlocking crypto’s use cases seemed like an afterthought. Now we feel it’s time for the industry to start delivering useful applications and Ramp is here to make the mainstream transition to crypto much easier.” said Ramp co-founder and CEO Szymon Sypniewicz.
“We built Ramp to unlock crypto’s power to completely revolutionise how we think about money and digital services for everyone, not just a handful of crypto-natives. We’re excited to see how crypto revolutionizes the creative industry through NFTs, democratizes finance through DeFi, and helps rethink how we do payments. Ramp is here to bring all these innovative solutions to users accustomed to the easiness of shopping online, who find complexity of buying crypto through crypto exchanges discouraging. ” Przemek Kowalczyk, Ramp co-founder and CTO added.
“It’s a matter of when, not if, non-crypto-native users are going to use crypto-native products. The question of “when” depends on usability. To date, crypto products have had a high barrier to entry – you have to basically go through a Rube Goldberg machine to use many products. Mainstream users are not going to do this. That’s what excited us about Ramp. Ramp dramatically reduces the crypto barrier to entry for both non-crypto-native users and non-crypto native developers. We see Ramp, therefore, helping to meaningfully accelerate crypto adoption through enabling mainstream use cases.” said Morgan Beller, General Partner at NfX.
“We’re excited about Ramp because we view it as a new-generation crypto business, a solution to first-generation problems that brilliantly leverages the unique properties of crypto. Ramp lets developers onboard their users into a crypto app in a way that feels native to the app, and we’re convinced this is what the future of on-ramping looks like. We’re active users of crypto-based apps and it was our own experience that showed us that apps using Ramp offered a game changing improvement to the user experience.” said Jon Kol, who co-leads Galaxy’s Venture investments
“Sorare players expect a smooth and fun experience. They should not worry about crypto on-ramping. Ramp does that perfectly – their top-of-the-line fiat-crypto bridging SDK allows us to focus on our core features with ease and confidence that our customers can play without the pain of using crypto exchanges.” said Nicolas Julia, CEO & Co-Founder of Sorare.
“One of the key value propositions in Valora, our flagship Celo wallet, is the guaranteed easy access to Celo universe and its tokens. Ramp provides it in the most exquisite way – users can onboard directly from their native currencies into cUSD and CELO within minutes. We appreciate the work Ramp is doing to further the adoption of cryptocurrencies and to tear down the barriers to entry for everyone.” said Denisse Halm, Ecosystem Growth and Product at Celo.
Ramp previously raised $1.2M (€1M) in 2018 in a pre-seed round, from a collective of funds and business angels. These included Fabric Ventures, Firstminute Capital, Seedcamp and MakerDAO. Over the past two years, Ramp has been acquiring both partners implementing Ramp in their apps and wallets, and individual users, using the platform directly to exchange fiat and cryptocurrencies. It has achieved a viral loop, with partners discovering Ramp as users of other apps that use Ramp. Ramp has also been working with Alior Bank to learn the ropes of cooperating with a major bank.
About Ramp (Ramp Network):
Ramp (Ramp Network) is a full-stack payment infrastructure for crypto assets. It offers an SDK for implementing crypto purchases directly in the apps and wallets – both web and mobile. Saving users from the need to jump to another app to buy crypto assets, Ramp makes the whole process easier and brings crypto-enabled apps to the mainstream.
The full list of investors who participated in this round are:
- NfX (Morgan Beller)
- Galaxy Digital (Jon Kol)
- firstminute capital
- Fabric Ventures
- Balaji S. Srinivasan (former Coinbase CTO)
- Taavet Hinrikus (CEO & Founder, Wise (formerly TransferWise)) together with Sten Tamkivi (Board Member of LHV Bank)
- Roham Gharegozlou (CEO & Founder, Dapper Labs – behind NBA Top Shot, the new Flow blockchain)
- Charles Delingpole (CEO & Founder, ComplyAdvantage)
- Itamar Lesuisee (CEO & Founder, Argent)
- Nicolas Julia (CEO & Co-Founder, Sorare)
- Francesco Simoneschi (CEO & Founder, TrueLayer)
- Piotr Pisarz (CEO & Founder, Uncapped)
- Bartek Pucek (Senior Executive, IKEA)
- Diogo Monica (CEO, founder, Anchorage)
- Rene Reinsberg (founder, Celo)
- Hannes Graah CEO, founder Gro, former Senior exec at Revolut, Spotify)
- Vadim Koleoshkin (COO, founder Zerion)
- Erez Mathan (ex COO, CRO, GoCardless)
- Keith Grose (Senior Executive, Plaid
- Nicolas Chinot (Senior Executive, Square)
- Zeynep Yavuz (Senior Executive, WorldRemit)
- John Pfeffer
- Perry Blacher
- Julien Bouteloup
- Emanuel Coen
- Anthony Danon