TipLink, a cryptocurrency payments platform built on the Solana blockchain, has raised $6 million in seed funding. The funding round was co-led by Sequoia Capital and Multicoin Capital, with participation from Solana Ventures, Circle Ventures, Paxos, and others, as well as angel investors including Vinny Lingham and Sarah Guo.
The funding round began in April of last year and closed in July, but the startup chose to announce it now with the launch of its API. The API allows developers to create TipLinks for free, which is why TipLink chose to announce the funding round now, according to co-founder and CEO Ian Krotinsky.
TipLink is a platform that allows users to send and receive digital assets with a link and a QR code. To use TipLink, the sender must connect to a Solana wallet and create a TipLink by depositing a token or NFT they want to send. They can then copy the TipLink URL and send it to anyone. The receiver does not have to have a crypto wallet, and can receive tokens even through a Gmail login. TipLink also supports QR codes.
With its newly launched API, TipLink lets developers and companies deposit digital assets and create TipLinks for their users, allowing them to onboard their users into the world of cryptocurrency. TipLink aims to help onboard the first billion people into cryptocurrency, according to Daniel Chen, partner at Sequoia Capital.
TipLink has helped create and send tens of thousands of links so far, but it plans to continue building link wallet functionality, improve its API, and expand engineering and business development teams. The company currently has eight employees, but Krotinsky hopes to expand the team in the future.
In addition to its current features, TipLink plans to allow users to deposit more money to link wallets and withdraw funds to a bank account in the near future. The company wants to stay on Solana for the foreseeable future, but Krotinsky said that other blockchains offering high throughput and low cost could be explored.
The idea behind TipLink is to make the process of sending and receiving cryptocurrency as simple as possible, to make it easier for less experienced crypto users to participate. As Krotinsky put it, “There’s still a tremendous amount of friction in crypto that holds back mainstream adoption. It’s unreasonable to ask the general population to set up a 12- or 24-word seed phrase wallet, much less a hardware wallet, just to send a dollar or receive a commemorative NFT.”
TipLink’s technology is intended to eliminate this friction and make it possible for anyone to participate in the world of cryptocurrency. Companies can use TipLink to host giveaways using cryptocurrency without asking for the public keys of user wallets, and can give away tokens at events using a scannable QR code.
TipLink’s seed funding round comes at a time when infrastructure projects have been able to partially stave off the effects of the recent cryptocurrency market downturn on fundraising. As the world of cryptocurrency continues to grow and evolve, it is likely that more startups like TipLink will emerge to make it easier for people to participate in this exciting new world.