Cryptocurrency payments startup Ramp, with offices in Poland and in London, has raised $70m of fresh investment, despite a difficult fundraising environment and turmoil in the crypto industry.
Their Series B, co-led by the UAE’s Mubadala Capital and France’s Korelya Capital, comes less than a year after the startup raised a $53m Series A. It’s one of the biggest funding rounds in the history of the Polish startup ecosystem.
What does Ramp do?
Ramp enables clients like crypto wallets, exchanges, NFT marketplaces and gaming companies embed crypto payments infrastructure into their existing systems so that users can buy crypto assets without needing to jump to other apps.
It’s integrated with the world’s major payment methods, including debit and credit cards, bank transfers, Apple Pay and Google Pay and is available to users in more than 150 countries.
What’s the market like?
Bearish, to say the least. In November 2021, the global crypto market had surged to almost $3tn — only to lose two-thirds of its value by mid-2022, as inflation and a grim economic outlook deterred investors. This has resulted in sweeping layoffs at European companies like Blockchain.com and Bitpanda, the collapse of several cryptocurrencies like TerraUSD and yesterday’s acquisition of the second-largest crypto exchange, FTX.
But Ramp seems to be immune to these trends. During 2022, it has generated an almost 240% increase in transaction volumes compared to the same period last year. The total number of unique users has increased by over 600%.
The startup is also hiring: it has increased the number of employees seven-fold in the last year, to more than 200 today.
“While we’ve grown rapidly, we’ve been prudent and have remained laser focused on developing our product to align with our partners’ business requirements, while keeping a finger to the pulse of the market’s long-term trends,” says Szymon Sypniewicz, Ramp’s cofounder and CEO.
- Mubadala Capital, co-lead investor, an Emirati VC
- Korelya Capital, co-lead investor, a French VC
- Balderton Capital, an existing investor, UK VC
- Cogito Capital, a Polish VC
What’s next for Ramp?
Sypniewicz says that with its Series B he wants to make Ramp product more accessible to more people. “This means entering local markets and enabling local payment methods,” he says.
“Local payment methods reduce friction and costs for lower-income regions while being more intuitive and accessible for more people in the world. This is particularly true in Latin America and Asia, both regions that have seen explosive crypto adoption and that we consider our next strategic targets.”
The company will also continue hiring and invest further in its product line.
Ramp’s resilience to the current economic downturn shows that it’s playing an important role in the cryptocurrencies ecosystem. It’s very often compared to Stripe, which has produced a market-leading similar tool for the ecommerce space; Stripe is now valued at around $74bn.
Sypniewicz also adds that the company wants to benefit from the trend of regular companies moving into Web3. Web3 refers to a new generation of blockchain-powered businesses that embrace decentralisation and democratising ownership — as opposed to centralised platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
“That’s a huge opportunity, and it’s just one example of the huge potential we see ahead for the industry beyond the current downturn,” he says.
“If you’ve been in crypto for as long as we have, you’ll recognise that a bear market is a builder’s market, and we’re fully committed to our vision — making Web3 a reality for everyone. We’re in it for the long haul”.
Zosia Wanat is Sifted’s central and eastern Europe reporter, based in Warsaw. She tweets from @zosiawanat