Crypto firm MoonPay raises $87 million from Justin Bieber, Maria Sharapova, others

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(Reuters) - Cryptocurrency payments startup MoonPay has raised $87 million from more than 60 high-profile investors including singer Justin Bieber, rapper Snoop Dogg, tennis player Maria Sharapova and actor Bruce Willis as the role of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in content creation and fan engagement expands.

The investments are part of the firm’s Series A round, disclosed in November last year which valued the company at $3.4 billion, MoonPay said on Wednesday.

More than 600 crypto startups have seen over $12.5 billion in venture capital funding so far this year, according to Alex McDougall, managing director at fund manager 3iQ Digital Assets.

MoonPay, which provides payment infrastructure for crypto and NFT transactions, expects content creators to increasingly use NFTs to market their work and engage with fans, chief executive officer Ivan Soto-Wright said.

NFT is a type of crypto asset that uses blockchain technology to record who owns a digital file, which could be an image, a video or a text.

Other investors in the company include rapper Aubrey Drake Graham and Adel Future Nur’s company Dreamcrew, Gwyneth Paltrow-led Kinship Ventures, Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary-backed venture capital firm Sound Ventures, singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd and his manager Amir Esmailian.

Reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi