Bieber, Paris, Snoop Dogg and dozens more: A slew of celebrities invested $87M in MoonPay

Celebrities are swooning over MoonPay.

 MoonPay, the Miami-based startup that has developed a platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies and NFTs,  announced today that more than 60 celebrities and influencers from the worlds of music, sports, media and entertainment have collectively invested $87 million in the company.

The “strategic investors” include Ashton Kutcher, Gal Gadot, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Michael Ovitz and Miami hospitality mogul David Grutman, among others. They represent industries on the cusp of transformation by web3 technology that is changing the way creatives, artists, and athletes approach art, fan engagement, and intellectual property management, said Ivan  Soto-Wright, co-founder and CEO of MoonPay [pictured above].

“Hollywood is using smart contracts and blockchain technology to assert their creative intellectual property rights. Major global sports franchises have used digital tokens and NFT collectibles to transform fan engagement. And recording artists are beginning to explore how NFTs can give them more control over royalty rights,” said Soto-Wright, in the announcement. “These are the underpinnings of a creator economy renaissance.”

These strategic investors are helping to lead that move, he said. “We’re honored to work with them to help onboard the world to Web3.”

The investments are part of the startup’s $555 million Series A round in November led by Tiger Global and Coatue. It was the largest VC deal in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area in 2021, a year that saw more than $800 million flow into Miami area companies in the crypto/blockchain space. After that round, MoonPay was reported valued at $3.5 billion.

Founded in 2018, MoonPay says it is the world’s largest provider of crypto payments infrastructure products, allowing a seamless way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and NFT using conventional payment methods like credit cards, bank transfers or mobile walletsy. Soto-Wright has signaled that he is doubling down on NFTs, a space MoonPay has already been making waves in.

MoonPay serves 10 million customers across 160 countries have processed close to $3 billion in transactions on the MoonPay platform through more than 250 partner sites, including and OpenSea. That’s up from 7 million customers and $2 billion in transactions five months ago.

 “Whether you’re a musician or a creator, this technology will expand your reach and the way you connect with fans more deeply. It won’t be enough to release new drops and hope it works; you’ve got to be way more participatory. Web3 makes that possible,” said Steve Aoki, Grammy-nominated DJ, producer, and founder of A0K1VERSE, and one of MoonPay’s new strategic investors.

Adds Paul George, seven-time NBA All Star and Olympic Gold Medalist: “Crypto and NFTs will be key to maximizing the business of professional sports as we look ahead, and I’m excited to be a key contributor as one of MoonPay’s strategic investors.”

This story has been updated, correcting that the $87 million in investments is part of the $555 million mega-deal announced in November 2021, according to MoonPay.

READ MORE ON REFRESH: From Miami to the moon – ‘Paypal for crypto’ startup raises $555M Series A  

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Nancy Dahlberg