In the same way that PayPal and Stripe radically changed online payments by allowing any online service to integrate payments, the race is on to have the same impact on crypto assets. To that end, players such as Wyre (raised $ 29.1 million) and MoonPay (raised $ 555 million) have come out on top. But in the summer of this year, a similar UK-based startup called Ramp (not to be confused with the American “trad-fi” startup Ramp) revealed itself as a Klingon battleship in space, with a startup round of $ 10.1 million, and even had to its credit the hard-earned endorsement of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The company is now clearly on a roll.
Ramp has now raised a $ 52.7 million Series A round led by Balderton Capital. Existing investors NFX, Galaxy Digital, Seedcamp, Firstminute Capital also participated, alongside angel investors such as Taavet Hinrikus (Wise) and Francesco Simonesci (TrueLayer), and the investment will see Balderton’s general partner, Rana Yared , join Ramp’s board of directors. The startup raised a total of $ 63 million.
Founded in 2017 by Szymon Sypniewicz (CEO) and Przemek Kowalczyk (CTO, CPO), Ramp has a comprehensive, non-custodial payment infrastructure. The idea here is to open up digital assets to more businesses and users by making it possible to send or receive crypto without having to go through an exchange like Coinbase, for example.
Ramp allows anyone who wants to offer crypto-enabled services to do so through their SDK in a matter of hours, without the need to set up their own scale-up stack to an exchange, an extremely time-consuming and potentially expensive activity.
This is, of course, very beneficial to Ramp, as it requires users to move between Ramp-powered services without having to go through multiple verification hoops. Faster for users, but also great for Ramp.
Partly because of this ease of use, it has managed to partner with over 400 developers, including Mozilla, Browser, Dapper Labs, and DeFi apps like Aave, Argent, Trust Wallet, and Zerion. It is also the exclusive ramp-up partner of Sorare, the blockchain-based global sports video game, and Flow, the blockchain specializing in NFT marketplaces and digital assets.
Additionally, Opera browser users can top up encrypted wallets from within the app, or Sorare NFT game players can buy and sell virtual players through Ethereum. Additionally, the NFT-based Axie Infinity game used Ramp to shorten its onboarding process from two hours to a few minutes.
The ultimate vision is to facilitate crypto transactions for end users of banks or other financial institutions within their banking applications. This would be where TradFi meets DeFi.
Ramp also recently received regulatory approval from US FinCen – the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which allows the company to operate legally in the United States. And in Poland, it became the first scale-up company to receive an open banking license from the Polish Financial Supervisory Authority (KNF) in 2020.
Szymon Sypniewicz, Co-Founder and CEO of Ramp, said, “There is so much potential to unlock cryptocurrency and digital assets beyond today’s narrow and restrictive use cases. Our mission is to provide instant access to cryptocurrencies through a provider they can trust.
Regarding its competitive position vis-à-vis Wyre and MoonPay, a spokesperson said that Ramp focuses on transaction transparency and regulatory approval, hence the FCA and FinCen elements: “While several competitors prefer to integrate some of the their fees in conversion rates, Ramp is proud to show their upfront fees so consumers know exactly what they’re paying.