Why Wyre? Why now?
Since inception, Ether Capital has committed itself to the Ethereum ecosystem and the potential for a world computer built on a blockchain. In the spring of 2018, we made our first investment, acquiring over 42,000 Ether, the native protocol token of the Ethereum blockchain. Since then, our team has been aggressively seeking compelling investment opportunities in the space.
Our focus has been on investment and technology development in three areas: blockchain scalability, fiat-to-crypto ramps and stablecoins. Finding solutions and efficiencies in these three areas are important for mass use and adoption of Ethereum and other Web 3 platforms.
On the surface, Wyre may be seen as just another cryptocurrency and foreign currency exchange. But when you dive just a little deeper, there’s something truly special and unique being created.
A cryptocurrency exchange business is straightforward: on-board users and facilitate trading between fiat and crypto (as well as between cryptos). There are many competitors in the exchange business.
What sets Wyre apart is their focus on developers, the key to Web 3’s success. Speculators aren’t building Web 3, nor are traditional institutions.
Let’s say you’re a developer who has built the next huge decentralized app (“dapp”) on Ethereum. Users need to be on-boarded compliantly, but you don’t have the time or expertise to build an exchange or understand the regulatory complexities of different jurisdictions. You just want to focus on building the best dapp possible!
Wyre is the solution. Wyre is building the “Stripe of crypto” or the “Shopify of crypto” for developers. It has created a standard platform and open API that developers can use in a plug-and-play fashion. It’s quick and easy to integrate Wyre’s on-boarding solution and regulatory compliance is instantly achieved. Competitor exchanges are typically walled gardens focused on specific geographic locations – integration is often not possible or is exceedingly complicated.
What gives us confidence in the Wyre team? They’ve been operating since 2013 and have deep knowledge and expertise in cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange and payments. They have traded over US$3.5 billion of cryptocurrency and foreign exchange in-house since inception. They are crypto-native, have been active in both bull and bear markets and, perhaps most importantly, they know how to create value within the Web 3 ecosystem. It’s in their DNA.
Wyre fits perfectly in the Ether Capital portfolio as a business that makes fiat-to-crypto ramps more efficient. In addition, Wyre has committed to supporting a decentralized stablecoin, Dai, as a major focus on its platform. In that sense, Wyre also reflects our thesis on stablecoins improving efficiency and user experience in the space.
We are excited to be an investor in Wyre. We are excited to have a board observer role at the company, which will afford us a seat at the table. And we are excited that Michael Dunworth, Wyre’s CEO, will be joining Ether Capital’s Advisory Board.
We truly believe Wyre has the potential to become the standard on-boarding platform for developers working on Ethereum and Web 3 and we look forward to supporting the Wyre team as an investor.