In the cryptocurrency ecosystem, wallets are perhaps the most critical user touchpoint, serving as a gateway to exchanges and smart contracts. This positions startups building popular wallet apps closer to the fires of consumer crypto opportunities, while letting them take control of many of web3’s unresolved issues, including steep integration challenges and a hostile trading environment. fraud.
Ghostone of the top wallet apps for the Solana ecosystem, has seen quite a boost as a result of investor and developer attention to competitor Ethereum, which has seen its value explode in the past year – although the relative newcomer is also proving to be a more volatile gamble. with the token taking a particularly hard hit during the latest encryption glitch.
The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency startup is turning this attention from Solana into a $109 million funding round led by Paradigm at a $1.2 billion valuation. The monster unicorn round comes six months after the startup closed a $9 million Series A from Andreessen Horowitz. At the time, the startup had 40,000 active users, now they have 2.1 million, with CEO Brandon Millman noting that the company has been consistently onboarding around 100,000 users a week.
Phantom’s next big ambition is to go multi-chain and add support for another blockchain besides the Solana ecosystem in its wallet. The startup is not indicating where exactly it intends to focus resources beyond what it is looking to add support for a blockchain compatible with Ethereum’s EVM stack, where most cryptocurrency developers have focused their attention and where competitors like MetaMask appear.
Multi-chain compatibility means expanded opportunities, but it also means dealing with the headaches of multiple ecosystems, something that can be a challenge for Phantom, which currently has around 20 employees — though the team plans to scale with its new funding.
“As the party closest to the end user, we definitely have a responsibility to protect and educate users. A lot of the work we’ve done over the last couple of months has been around user security-related features.” Millman tells Ploonge.
The company is expanding its presence on mobile, announcing alongside the funding news that it is widely releasing an iOS app and will launch a native Android app in the coming months. The apps, which come with the Phantom website and Chrome extension, are part of efforts designed to bring a new wave of consumers into the crypto space, though many in the ecosystem are still questioning whether the web3 space is ready for a wave of lesser players. technical.
“I would say the whole space is very early from all perspectives and I don’t think anyone really knows how this is all going to play out,” says Millman. “It’s still very, very pro-user-centric across the stack… and it’s typically something that people nod over and say ‘not for consumers yet’, but we really want to help be the team that bridges the gap. ”