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Ramp raises £40m to become PayPal of crypto payments

Ramp cryptocurrency funding

Cryptocurrency payments startup Ramp has raised $52.7m (£40m) for its payment infrastructure software that allows businesses to set up in-app crypto payments.

The Series A round was led by Balderton Captial, a venture firm operating in Europe that has previously backed British cybersecurity firm Darktrace, AI drug discovery startup Healx and semiconductor company Graphcore.

Existing investors NFX, Galaxy Digital, Seedcamp and Firstminute Capital also participated. Ramp also received backing from angel investors Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and TrueLayer co-founder Francesco Simonesci.

As part of the deal Balderton general partner Rana Yared will join the Ramp board.

It follows its £7m Seed round six months ago and the latest investment brings its total funds raised to £47m ($63m).

Founded in 2017 in Poland, Ramp provides a software development kit that lets brands offer crypto-enabled services.

The London-based firm sees itself as a Stripe or PayPal for cryptoassets and payment platforms.

While there is a gradual increase in retail adoption of cryptocurrency, the main way that people spend their cryptocurrency is by exchanging it back into fiat currency. This is usually done via an exchange such as Coinbase or eToro, which often comes with fees.

Instead, Ramp acts as an intermediary between cryptocurrency exchanges and brands using cryptocurrency within their apps or website. It does not store cryptocurrency itself.

The company received Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval in July and more recently from the US’ FinCen, which allows it to operate legally in the US. It also has regulatory approval in Poland.

Its technology is available in the Opera browser, which allows users to top up crypto wallets from within the app. Its technology is also being used by the Sorare NFT game to let users buy and sell virtual players with Ethereum.

“There is so much potential in unlocking cryptocurrency and digital assets beyond today’s narrow and restrictive use cases,” said Szymon Sypniewicz, Ramp co-founder and CEO. “We’re on a mission to provide instant access to cryptocurrencies through a provider they can trust.”

Ramp says it has partnered with more than 400 developers, including Mozilla, Trust Wallet and Dapper Labs. It claims its transaction volume has grown 30x in a year, while its headcount has tripled over the last six months.

Rana Yared, general partner at Balderton Capital and now Ramp board member, said: “We firmly believe that digital assets will create tectonic shifts, where this emerging technology will have a powerful impact across gaming, financial services, and how we own real assets.”