Celebrities throw $87 million at crypto payments company MoonPay

Crypto-payments company MoonPay secured nearly 16% of its latest funding round from celebrities.

More than 60 musicians, actors and other personalities collectively offered about $87 million in the company’s latest funding round, MoonPay said in a press release Wednesday. Late last year, the startup raised $555 million in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management that valued the company at $3.4 billion.

Celebrities on the investor list include Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, Steve Aoki, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maria Sharapova, Diplo, Post Malone, Drake, Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Willis, Mindy Kaling and Paris Hilton.

MoonPay’s fundraiser is the latest sign of growing celebrity interest in crypto-focused financial technology. NFTs and the blockchain technology behind them have the potential to disrupt the music, film, fashion and gaming industries by allowing creators to secure funding, control their intellectual property and sell their work directly to consumers without the help of intermediaries.

MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright said NFTs are more than just JPEGs and offer artists and creators a way to manage royalties. The company is looking to help them think about strategies for the emerging blockchain-based Web — or Web3 — he said in an interview.

“MoonPay sees a completely different format for the entertainment industry,” Soto-Wright said. “My thought was: let’s build a diverse portfolio of amazing people who represent different industries and talk about their IP use cases.”

MoonPay describes itself as a sort of PayPal for the crypto economy, enabling transactions between individuals and crypto companies, such as non-fungible token providers, or NFTs. It is designed to allow users to buy and sell digital assets and NFTs via credit and debit cards; Apple, Google or Samsung Pay; or bank accounts.

Several of the celebrities on MoonPay’s investor list, including Bieber and Hilton, have ventured into NFTs over the past year, with high profile digital image purchases worth millions of dollars.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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