â€œCrypto Stripeâ€ 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 Loweâ€™s.
Flexaâ€™s private sale of its AMP token ended Nov. 20. Newly disclosed players include Compound Finance founder Robert Leshnerâ€™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.
Read more: â€˜Crypto Stripeâ€™ Flexa Raises $14 Million so You Can Buy Coffee With Bitcoin
â€œ[Crypto] is outside the core payment flow, which is why you donâ€™t see Target or Walmart or Home Depot or these other guys accepting this stuff, because itâ€™s not a part of what they really do. Weâ€™ve been building this with merchants from the very beginning,â€ Spalding said.
Flexa converts FXC to AMP
The now out-of-favor Flexacoin (FXC) â€“ sold in 2018 and 2019 private funding rounds â€“ is being swapped for AMP in light of an upgrade to the payment networkâ€™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 â€œconditionalâ€ 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 projectâ€™s code was audited by Trail of Bits and ConsenSys Diligence.
â€œPartition 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,â€ 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.