Payments startup Bolt has acquired Wyre, a cryptocurrency payments company that provides a set of APIs that enable crypto on and off-ramps as well as transfers between cryptocurrency pairs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price is around $1.5 billion. Bolt has raised $1.3 billion, including $353 million in January, so the deal could be part cash, part equity.
Bolt’s offering is similar to PayPal’s but with a few hundred merchants on board, compared to PayPal’s 20 million. Together the two startups aim to offer a one-click retail checkout that supports cryptocurrency.
Wyre says it has processed more than $10 billion in payments and provided a cryptocurrency onramp to more than 15 million consumers.
“This acquisition will pave the way for seamless, secure crypto transactions, and NFT enablement for our retailers,” said Maju Kuruvilla, CEO of Bolt. “Both consumers and retailers will benefit from a friction-free buying experience that supports crypto and NFT natively.”
Apart from NFTs, Bolt plans to enable merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency and for consumers to be able to buy and store cryptocurrencies.
Wyre enables the conversion between cryptocurrencies and fiat through integrations with Visa and Mastercard cards, bank transfers, Plaid and Apple Pay.
Competition hots up
However, with the likes of Stripe now supporting crypto, the competition for Wyre is starting to hot up. Last November, another crypto payment onramp, MoonPay, raised a $555 million funding round led by Tiger Global and Coatue at a $3.4 billion valuation. MoonPay had processed $2 billion in transactions at that stage, compared to Wyre’s $10 billion.
Another competitor, Coinify, was acquired last August by Voyager Digital for $84 million. European startup Ramp, which boasts Sorare and Dapper Labs as clients, raised a $53 million Series A round in December. In January, MoneyGram bought a 4% stake in Coinme which provides a crypto onramp through kiosks, including some hosted at MoneyGram outlets. Last August, one of the world’s biggest providers of physical point of sale checkout solutions, NCR, bought LibertyX, a cryptocurrency ATM firm.