Robot Ventures, Others Back ‘Crypto Stripe’ Flexa in $6M Raise
“Crypto Stripe” Flexa Network has completed an additional raise of $6 million in a private sale of its AMP token released in September bringing the total to $20 million, as well as an infrastructure overhaul of its crypto payment platform, co-developed with venture firm ConsenSys.
Flexa is on a mission to bring crypto straight to merchants with its SPEDN digital wallet. The app allows users to spend multiple cryptocurrencies for point-of-sale purchases at merchants such as Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Express or Lowe’s.
Flexa’s private sale of its AMP token ended Nov. 20. Newly disclosed players include Compound Finance founder Robert Leshner’s Robot Ventures II, Starwood Capital founder Barry Sternlicht, AlpInvest founder Volkert Doeksen and Innopay founder Douwe Lycklama.
Flexa has taken a merchant-first approach to bringing crypto payments mainstream, Flexa co-founder Tyler Spalding told CoinDesk in a Zoom interview. The startup plans on gradually decentralizing its wallet service while providing more centralized software solutions for merchant partners, Spalding said.
The now out-of-favor Flexacoin (FXC) – sold in 2018 and 2019 private funding rounds – is being swapped for AMP in light of an upgrade to the payment network’s backend, he said. Flexacoin holders can migrate to the new token on a one-to-one basis through the official portal. Spalding said FXC was often mistaken for a payment token itself; the ERC-20 style token is merely infrastructure for the Flexa Network.
The new model allows “conditional” staking of AMP tokens for collateral management without requiring they be transferred from the original address. The network includes a function, transferByApproval, that allows for more dynamic collateral governance of external accounts. Spalding claims the function is a novel Ethereum address feature necessitating the token swap. The project’s code was audited by Trail of Bits and ConsenSys Diligence.
“Partition strategies can be used to systematically grant controller-like permissions to various actors in the ecosystem. This enables the AMP contract to execute common implementation situations for collateral managers,” a new technical paper shown early to CoinDesk states.
The crypto payments provider is also releasing the Flexa software as an open-source SDK in January, Spalding said.
Correction (Dec. 21, 16:20 UTC): The headline and leading sentence have been updated to clarify the amount raised in this round; $20 million has been raised to date.