PayPal has acquired Curv, the Israel-headquartered virtual asset security startup, as the payments company seeks to bolster its talent pool for handling cryptocurrencies.
The acquisition will expand PayPal’s cryptocurrency team by bringing on Curv, a company with strong connections with exchanges, brokers, and over-the-counter (OTC) desks to help users store electronic assets securely.
PayPal, which did not disclose the financial conditions of the deal, has been building a new unit that will focus on the digital currency after the company started allowing consumers to purchase, sell and hold certain cryptocurrencies in its wallet in recent months.
Investing in technology
“The acquisition of Curv is part of our effort to invest in the talent and technology to realize our vision for a more inclusive financial system,” FN News quoted Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal vice president and general manager of blockchain and crypto, as saying.
Israel-based media outlet Calcalist last week stated that Curv, with around 40 employees, may have sold for between $200 million and $300 million, with CNBC reporting that the deal is valued at “less than $200 million.”
PayPal said it expects the acquisition to be finalized by the middle of this year. Curv announced it had secured $30 million in total funding last year from investors including Coinbase Ventures, CommerzVentures, and Digital Currency Group.
Advancing the use of crypto
Currently, the use of virtual currency to purchase everyday goods and services has been somewhat limited. But PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman believes that his company can help “advance the utility of cryptocurrencies.”
The Curv deal follows PayPal’s expansion into the crypto landscape. In October last year, the company announced that its customers would be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at any merchant in its network starting in 2021.
The price of Curve’s CRV token rallied over 10% to $2.60 within an hour after news of the acquisition but has since retreated to $2.35. PayPal’s stock has declined over 15% this month, to $230.57 from $273.63 as of this writing.
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