Shopper Network Company Bolt in $1.5B Tie-up With Crypto Infrastructure Provider Wyre

The two companies plan to build commerce solutions and secure crypto usage for millions of shoppers, retailers and developers


Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla | Source: Bolt


key takeaways

  • Blockchain payments infrastructure “will become a core part of the new financial system,” Architect Partners associate says
  • “We want to allow every retailer to transact easily in cryptocurrency,” Wyre CEO Ioannis Giannaros said

Shopper network company Bolt is set to acquire cryptocurrency infrastructure provider Wyre. The combined company will seek to allow every retailer to easily transact using cryptocurrencies.

The deal, expected to close later this year, comes amid growing demand for purchasing goods and services with crypto and the opportunity of Web3, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The acquisition is valued at roughly $1.5 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Blockworks, making it among the largest crypto mergers not involving a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). It surpasses Galaxy Digital’s planned $1.2 billion purchase of institutional crypto platform BitGo, which has not yet closed.

Founded in 2014, Bolt allows tens of millions of shoppers in its network to check out with one click while offering authentication and fraud protection. Hundreds of retailers use Bolt to offer a quicker experience to customers.

The flagship product from Wyre, which has been involved in the crypto space since 2013, is its fiat-to-crypto gateway. The company has on-ramped roughly 15 million end users to its partners and has processed more than $10 billion in payments.

Together, Bolt and Wyre plan to build commerce solutions and secure crypto usage for millions of shoppers, retailers and developers.

Integrating crypto within Bolt’s one-click checkout infrastructure has always been a core part of its vision, according to Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla.

Roughly 40% of crypto-paying customers are brand new for these companies, and they tend to spend nearly twice as much as regular credit card users, he added.

“More and more companies are realizing the pressing need to simplify the crypto purchasing experience, as cryptocurrencies continue gaining popularity and Web3 promises to be a new cornerstone of the future,” Kuruvilla told Blockworks in an email. “These opportunities and trends are poised to continue growing, and Bolt and Wyre’s partnership sends a strong signal that we plan to be the leader in tomorrow’s market.”

Bolt will be able to securely exchange crypto to fiat, enabling retailers to accept crypto as a payment method. It will also allow Bolt users to purchase NFTs using Wyre’s interface.

“We want to allow every retailer to transact easily in cryptocurrency, removing long-standing barriers,” Wyre CEO Ioannis Giannaros said in a statement.

The crypto mergers and acquisitions landscape

Bolt’s buy of Wyre highlights blockchain-payments as a critical piece of the crypto ecosystem, according to Ryan McCulloch, an associate at mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm Architect Partners.

“While the practical timing and implementation of the blockchain payments infrastructure remains unclear, it is clear that this will become a core part of the new financial system,” he told Blockworks.

Over the last 12 months, legacy payments providers have made significant acquisitions to ensure they’re able to capitalize on the opportunity, McCulloch added.

Canadian payments giant Nuvei acquired crypto payments company Simplex for $250 million last year. More recently, Silvergate acquired Diem for roughly $200 million in January.

There were 174 crypto mergers and acquisitions last year, according to Architect Partners data — nearly triple the amount from 2020. The number of such deals in 2022 is just behind last year’s pace, as 40 crypto M&A transactions took place during the first quarter.

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