5 minsPublished on 3/2/2023

From widget to Web3 infrastructure: Celebrating four years of MoonPay

We take a look at how far we’ve come since our 2019 launch.

By Geoffrey Lyons

Today MoonPay turns four. In the fast-changing Web3 world, that’s a long time. 

To put it in perspective, four years is double the amount of time NFTs have been mainstream. Uniswap and USDC are also four years old. Binance, an industry stalwart, is five. If MoonPay was founded a year earlier, our users would have been able to purchase one Bitcoin for less than $1,000.

Our company, just like the industry, has evolved significantly in such a short span of time. From launching a minimum viable product in Tokyo to partnering with leading brands like FOX and Alo Yoga, it would be an understatement to say MoonPay has come a long way. But while there’s been much to celebrate, we believe this to be only the beginning of our journey. 

To mark four years, here’s a brief history of our progress and some words on where we’re headed. 

Founding (2019)

MoonPay didn’t start in someone’s garage, but our founding certainly has all the other ingredients of a compelling origin story. First there’s our two gritty co-founders, Ivan Soto-Wright and Victor Faramond, whose opposite personalities (Soto-Wright the lofty idealist and Faramond the grounded realist) unite to form a duo that’s greater than the sum of its parts. 

MoonPay co-founders Victor Faramond, Max Crown, and Ivan Soto-Wright
Victor Faramond, Max Crown, and Ivan Soto-Wright

Next, the vision: take cryptocurrency mainstream. NFTs hadn’t yet burst onto the scene in 2019, so Soto-Wright and Faramond were primarily motivated by cryptocurrency’s potential to democratize finance.

This vision galvanized them despite the fact that just months prior to MoonPay’s launch, the price of Bitcoin dropped by about 80% in what some were calling “the great crypto crash”. The co-founders knew that the crypto revolution would outlast temporary market dips. 

The final ingredient was the product. Today, MoonPay has a suite of products that help brands and consumers navigate Web3, but in 2019 there was just one. What the industry often calls an “on-ramp”, our core product offering allows users to exchange traditional fiat currencies (US dollars, Euros) for cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum). 

Hypergrowth (2019 - 2021)

No startup origin story is complete without a stroke of good luck. For MoonPay, this came six months prior to our March 2019 launch when Soto-Wright received a call from Roger Ver, then CEO of Bitcoin.com

Ver offered to fly the co-founders to Tokyo so he and his team could see what they were working on. Needless to say, the trip was a success–MoonPay secured its first partnership before the company officially launched. “We basically had a contract before even building the final product,” Faramond says. 

The deal saw MoonPay’s widget embedded on Bitcoin.com’s site, allowing users to more easily buy crypto. As the ink dried on the contract, Bitcoin.com’s revenue skyrocketed fivefold and MoonPay developed an early reputation as one of the leading payment gateways to the booming crypto economy. 

MoonPay’s core product offering allows users to exchange fiat for crypto
MoonPay’s core product offering allows users to exchange fiat for crypto

A couple more partnerships snowballed into a couple hundred, so that by 2021 MoonPay was completing tens of thousands of transactions per month. Today, the company has over 500 partners in total, including leading wallets, NFT marketplaces, and exchanges who still use our plug-and-play widget as an on-ramp.

4 years of MoonPay stats

As 2021 neared its end, MoonPay made headlines by closing an historic funding round. With strong VC support, we raised $555 million in the largest and highest valued Series A for any bootstrapped crypto company globally. 

As a result of the funding, our post-money valuation totaled $3.4 billion, which was exactly $3.4 billion more than the company had been worth just two years prior. 

“Not just payments” (2022)

MoonPay entered 2022 in style by releasing NFT Checkout: a solution that enables users to buy NFTs with a card. Six months later, Soto-Wright took to a stage in New York City to make an announcement

“I’m announcing that MoonPay is no longer just a payments infrastructure company,” he said. “We’re now a Web3 infrastructure company.” 

The occasion was the opening day of the NFT community’s flagship event, NFT.NYC. Looking out to a packed Radio City Music Hall, Soto-Wright proceeded to unveil MoonPay’s new self-service NFT minting platform, HyperMint.

The MoonPay team at NFT.NYC 2022
The MoonPay team at NFT.NYC 2022

What’s extraordinary about HyperMint’s launch isn’t just the immediate impact it had on the industry (today, at just nine months old, HyperMint boasts brands like Puma, FOX, and Universal as some of its early partners), but also how quickly it came on the heels of NFT Checkout. With both products released back-to-back, the company had suddenly created a formidable tech stack that could effectively deliver end-to-end Web3 strategies for brands. 

Payments would still be a focus for the company, but not just payments.

Onboarding the world (2023 - ?)

In just the first quarter of 2023, MoonPay expanded its Web3 offering yet again by acquiring leading Web3 agency Nightshift (rebranded to Otherlife). 

We also announced a string of key hires including former Coinbase President Asiff Hirji as President and Lindsey Haswell (ex-Lime, Uber) as Chief Legal Officer. Both Hirji and Haswell joined not long after MoonPay welcomed another key hire, former TIME President Keith Grossman, as President of Enterprise. 

What does all this activity signify? 

MoonPay is trusted by some of world’s most reputable brands
MoonPay is trusted by some of world’s most reputable brands

MoonPay has a simple yet ambitious aim: onboard the world to Web3. Until now, we’ve worked towards this goal exclusively by integrating our products into the major touchpoints attracting people to crypto. 

But now we’re poised to have an even greater impact. With an exceptional team in place and a complete product offering, MoonPay will provide end-to-end solutions for payments, smart contracts, and world-class design for brands with zero experience in Web3.

As we look back on these last four years, we’re proud of how far we’ve come as a company. Our global team has made enormous strides in taking us from “just payments” to where we are today. Our sights are now set squarely on the path that lies ahead. 

For media enquiries, please contact [email protected].

Geoffrey Lyons
Written byGeoffrey Lyons