Lightning wallet provider Zap today formally announced a $3.5 million seed round fundraise from investors including Morgan Creek Digital and CMT Digital. The announcement follows recent news that Zap opened its Strike application to public beta and that it had joined Visa’s Fast Track Program to create a debit card, expected to launch by the end of 2020.
“I am beyond excited to have the support of strategic investors and companies in the Bitcoin and payments spaces,” Jack Mallers, the CEO of Zap, said in a release shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “Zap’s ultimate goal is to make bitcoin more accessible and used for all that it has to offer by the masses. With these partnerships, there’s no doubt in my mind we’re going to accomplish that.”
The Strike public beta, announced earlier this month, allowed anyone to try out the app and transact with Lighting payments using just a debit card or bank account. Users of the app don’t have to buy bitcoin or fund Lightning channels themselves, dramatically reducing the barrier to entry for Bitcoin’s second layer technology.
“With Strike, users can interact with millions of existing users from day one,” Mallers told Bitcoin Magazine as part of the public beta announcement. “We’ve seen Strike be used for general online commerce, brick and mortar commerce, buying bitcoin, selling bitcoin, etc.”
Mallers has said that the Strike card would be an offering for consumer app users and that he hopes to integrate Visa Direct, the company’s fastest transferring platform, into its consumer app as well.
The release went on to note that Zap will leverage the funds to expand on Strike and the rest of its product suite, while also expanding its team and partnerships.
“Jack and his team have built an incredible platform that bridges the gap between digital assets and traditional forms of payment,” Colleen Sullivan, CEO of CMT Digital, said, according to the release. “The team he’s building is exceptionally talented, with a deep understanding of the technology driving innovation in the payments space.”
Peter Chawaga is a senior editor at Bitcoin Magazine. He HODLs BTC.