Bolt (but not that Bolt) pays a record $1.5b for the crypto startup Wyre

The e-commerce company Bolt Financial Inc. acquired crypto infrastructure provider Wyre following the ambitious goal of one-click cryptocurrency payments.

A stock photo of two businessmen shaking hands while two others cheer.

“Today we’re making history and joining forces to reinvent the way that people interact with commerce and crypto,” Wyre CEO Ioannis Giannaros announced on the company’s blog. The integration will enable Bolt merchants to accept crypto for their services, and, similarly, customers will be able to pay with crypto for physical goods. Bolt also promised to bring “Coinbase-like functionality” to the new platform.

Although Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla mentioned that it was the company's biggest acquisition, the exact amount of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The Wall Street Journal, citing the inside source, claimed the acquisition is valued at around $1.5b. If true, that makes it the biggest crypto acquisition to date, excluding those conducted by SPACs. SPAC, an acronym for a special purpose acquisitions company, is a listed shell corporation that purchases startups and makes them go public, avoiding traditional IPO paperwork.

Founded in 2014 by Ryan Breslow, Bolt is a payment service that enables one-click shopping, competing with industry leaders like PayPal or Apple Pay. According to the Crunchbase, Bolt raised a total of $1.3b over 12 funding rounds since 2015. Prior to Wyre acquisition, it purchased a Swedish e-commerce startup Tipser for a shy $200m. Tipser’s technology allows publishers to monetize their content giving consumers the opportunity to purchase products natively from the publisher’s site, without any affiliate links.

Wyre offers fiat-to-crypto exchange services for retail and business customers and develops a variety of payment APIs. The platform provides real-time payouts, same-day transfers, and direct-to-bank transfers, reimagining the process of international payments.

“Wyre will expand Bolt’s extensive API offering, by integrating their best-in-class crypto stack, giving Bolt access to millions of blockchain developers worldwide,” Maju Kuruvilla wrote in his official statement. For Bolt customers, it means easy and unclouded access to cryptocurrency, NFTs, and fiat exchanges. The integration will take some time as it has to go through the approval process, but the company promises crypto payments will be available by the end of the year.