Crypto payments company MoonPay has raised $87 million in funding from at least 60 celebrity investors including Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Drake. The actors and musicians are part of an extension round after MoonPay’s $555 million Series A funding round that was led by Tiger Global Management and Coatue in November.
MoonPay enables users to convert fiat money into cryptocurrency and provides anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) compliance services.
Late last year, the company launched a concierge service to help high-net-worth individuals and celebrities purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies. This move may have made celebrities familiar with the platform, leading to their investment.
“A lot of companies might open a very small portion of their rounds, but we wanted to take on meaningful checks from these folks, because we want them to be part of this story and shape product direction,” said MoonPay CEO, Ivan Soto-Wright, in an interview with CNBC. “A lot of them have venture capital portfolios, a lot of them have their own independent ventures, and we came to them saying ‘we can help you understand opportunities around Web3, crypto and the metaverse.’”
There’s a fair bit of deal activity around crypto onramps. Payments firm Wyre was acquired by Bolt last week for $1.5 billion. Wyre says it has processed more than $10 billion in payments and provided a cryptocurrency onramp to more than 15 million consumers. In comparison, at the time of MoonPay’s Series A funding round in November, it had processed $2 billion in transactions with seven million end users, which has now risen to ten million.
Another competitor, Hong Kong-based crypto onramp XanPool, raised a $27 million Series A led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. It had 500,000 users and 400 business partners.
Competition in the crypto onramp space is heating up, with payments company Stripe launching services for crypto businesses last month.