London-based Ramp, a crypto payments infrastructure company, has raised $53 million in Series A funding. Balderton Capital led the round.
LONDON, 15th December 2021: Just six months after closing its Seed round, Ramp – the startup behind the payment infrastructure making crypto more useful, accessible and open – has 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 including Taavet Hinrikus (Wise) and Francesco Simonesci (TrueLayer), and the investment will see Balderton’s General Partner, Rana Yared, join the Ramp board.
Founded in 2017 by Szymon Sypniewicz (CEO) and Przemek Kowalczyk (CTO, CPO), Ramp prides itself on taking a responsible and ultimately long-term approach to bringing the benefits of crypto to the many, not the few. Through its non-custodial, full-stack payment infrastructure, Ramp opens up digital assets to more businesses and users and does so in a way that prioritises sustainable growth, trust and security.
Making crypto useful, accessible and relevant for all
Ramp unlocks the potential of crypto beyond exchanges and makes it increasingly useful and relevant for the masses. Previously, cryptocurrencies have largely been the reserve of enthusiasts and have centred around crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and eToro which let customers exchange fiat money (EUR, GBP, USD etc) to cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets. However, all of them are built for users who want to speculate on the prices of crypto assets and buy, hold and sell coins. This narrow remit fails to address the potential and power of crypto.
Ramp, instead, allows any brand or partner who wants to offer crypto-enabled services as part of their business model to do so easily and securely through the Ramp SDK. It can take mere hours to get up and running with Ramp, instead of months if a company were to set up their on-ramping stack, with the platform on hand to help with the infrastructure and licensing to facilitate transactions for end users. At the same time, this allows such users to move between all Ramp-powered services without having to jump through multiple verification hoops.
In the same way Stripe and PayPal revolutionised ecommerce and online payments by allowing any website, app or service to embed payment infrastructure into their existing systems, Ramp is having the same impact for crypto assets and payment platforms.
The company is now a partner to more than 400 developers, including Mozilla, Browser, Dapper Labs (the company behind NBA Top Shot), and top crypto and DeFi (decentralized finance) apps like Aave, Argent, Trust Wallet, and Zerion. It is also the exclusive on-ramping partner for Sorare, the blockchain-based, global sports video game and Flow, the blockchain which specialises in NFT marketplaces and digital assets.
Use cases for Ramp today range from enabling users of Opera browser to top-up crypto wallets from within the app, to players being able to play the Sorare NFT game and buy and sell virtual players via Ethereum. With Ramp, NFT-based game Axie Infinity was able to significantly shorten its onboarding process, reducing the time from two hours to just minutes for new customers without compromising on security.
In the future, Ramp could help facilitate crypto transactions for banks’ or other financial institutions’ end-users within their banking apps; it could also unlock completely new use cases that until recently were impossible to launch because Ramp’s seamless UX takes all friction out of the equation.
A trusted crypto on-ramping firm
Following FCA approval in July, Ramp recently received regulatory approval from US FinCen – the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which enables the company to operate legally in the US. In addition, Ramp (Poland) became the first on-ramping company to receive an open banking licence from The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) in 2020. Ramp will continue to work closely with the regulators in the markets it operates in so more companies can access the benefits of its transformative technology.
This considered approach is what saw Ramp partner with Balderton Capital – a VC renowned for its considered investments; it’s why previous institutional, as well as angel investors, participated in this latest round and is why a Ramp entity recently become the first crypto firm of its kind to be registered by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a cryptoasset business. Only companies that pass the FCA’s fit and proper assessment are placed on the list of registered cryptoasset firms and Ramp was the eighth company to make the register.
The Series A round takes the total raised by Ramp to $63 million and has been accompanied by 30x growth in monthly transaction volume in 12 months. At the same time, the Ramp team has tripled in number and is continuing its recruitment drive, thanks to the new funding. It will also enable Ramp to continue to grow its team and launch new partnerships across the enterprise, B2B, and B2C spaces.
Szymon Sypniewicz, Ramp co-founder and CEO, said: “There is so much potential in unlocking cryptocurrency and digital assets beyond today’s narrow and restrictive use cases. We’re on a mission to provide instant access to cryptocurrencies through a provider they can trust. Our new partnership with Balderton and Rana, coupled with the continued support from our existing investors, is testament to the fact that what we’re doing is game-changing, and we will continue to do so for the benefit of all.”
Przemek Kowalczyk, Ramp co-founder and CTO, said: “As both a company and a technology platform, we continue to go from strength to strength thanks to our considered, expert approach and the pride we have in building tools and a platform that will go the distance. A platform that isn’t just proving useful and relevant today, but which has the potential to completely revolutionise and underpin the world of digital assets tomorrow. Everything we develop at Ramp is built to meet our core mission of making the technology accessible for all and the funding will help us to continue this mission.”
Rana Yared, General Partner at Balderton Capital and 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. Szymon, Przemek and the team at Ramp are providing a reliable way in for new audiences by making buying digital assets as straightforward as buying US dollars when making a purchase from your favourite American brand in Euros. They understand the need to reliably and sustainably create not just the building blocks for this new wave, but the entire infrastructure that will support it for decades to come. I’m excited to be joining the board and look forward to helping the team build this exciting future.”
Morgan Beller, General Partner at NfX and Ramp board member, said: “When I look at web3 companies, I ask: ‘Will this product help onboard net new users to the space?’ And, of course, does this product have network effects? Ramp is the ultimate answer to both questions. It is unique in its ability to help take web3 to the next adoption level. I am confident that their approach – which equally weights technology, product, partnerships & regulation – will position them to make a huge difference in crypto adoption. I also believe that their team is unique in how well-rounded it is for a web3 company at this stage. They are incredibly multi-disciplinary and every member of their team was drafted to achieve the greater goal.”
About Ramp (Ramp Network):
Ramp (Ramp Network) is a full-stack payment infrastructure for crypto assets. It offers an SDK for implementing crypto purchases directly in the apps and wallets – both web and mobile. Saving users from the need to jump to another app to buy crypto assets, Ramp makes the whole process easier and brings crypto-enabled apps to the mainstream.