MoonPay, a tool for buying cryptocurrency and NFTs, announced on Tuesday that it has collected $86.7 million in a new investment round. The list of investors names more than sixty celebrities including Bruce Willis, Diplo, Eva Longoria, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Paris Hilton.
MoonPay, which launched in 2019, dubbed itself “the PayPal of the crypto space,” and said it would simplify the purchasing of crypto goods by allowing consumers to use credit cards and payment services like Apple Pay. Users can to buy cryptocurrency on the app through exchanges like Coinbase, or purchase NFTs on OpenSea. In 2021, MoonPay completed a $555 million Series A financing round, led by venture capital firms, that valued the company at $3.4 billion.
Purchasing crypto with a credit card is not commonplace just yet. To purchase crypto, you generally first need to join an exchange. Some larger cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase do not accept credit cards, while some only take Visa or Mastercard. Even worse, buyers may incur two kinds of fees when using credit cards—service fees from the exchange and cash advance fees from the credit card company.
MoonPay has gone all in on celebrity endorsements as a way of attracting new customers, recruiting celebrities—including Eva Longoria, Jimmy Fallon, and Snoop Dogg—to use their service in order to purchase Bored Ape NFT’s; when the stars crow about their inexplicable purchases on social media, they give MoonPay a mention. The company was even given a shoutout in the music video for The Weeknd and Post Malone’s new collaboration, “One Right Now.”
Longoria, Snoop Dogg, Malone and The Weeknd are all listed among the “60 high profile strategic investors” in MoonPay’s funding announcement, as are Anthony Kiedis, Ashton Kutcher, Gal Gadot, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Kate Hudson, Maria Sharapova, Matthew McConaughey, Scooter Braun, Steve Aoki and others.
Gizmodo reached out to MoonPay to find out if and how these celebrities are being compensated for promoting the app; the company says that most of the celebs took advantage of their concierge service and were not compensated for their endorsement of MoonPay, with the exception of Post Malone and The Weeknd.
Updated 4/13/2022, 4:15 p.m. ET: This story was updated to include statement from MoonPay regarding celebrity endorsements.