Cryptocurrency / Investing / Startups

Amino Payments raises $4.5M seed round to ramp up hiring

As part of the First Round Capital–led raise, Amino got a star player in its boardroom: Josh Kopelman.

The Amino crew at its WeWork 1601 Market office. (Courtesy photo)
The elusive stealth-mode startup we first knew as Curren-C, is all grown up.

Now bearing the banner of Amino Payments, the Center City company that combines the adtech and blockchain worlds has raised a new $4.5 million seed round in a bid to expand its footprint in the Philly office and capture the market.

“What this means is expansion right here in Philadelphia at our office at 16th and Market,” said cofounder and CEO Will Luttrell, an adtech insider who formerly founded a company called Integral Ad Science. “We’re looking to double the size of the company over the next 12 months.”

Luttrell said the seed round will let the company go from its current size of 22 staffers to 40. The round was Led by First Round Capital, with participation a number of firms and experts from the adtech space: You & Mr Jones Brandtech VenturesNyca Investment Fund, Tessera Venture Partners, LiveRamp founder Auren Hoffman and BrightRoll founder Tod Sacerdoti.

As part of the investment, the company added First Round’s storied founder Josh Kopelman as the third member of its board.

“We’re excited to have someone of Josh’s Caliber joining us as a board member,” said Luttrell, who started the company alongside Monetate’s David Bookspan and Chris Chapman, the company’s SVP of Engineering. “It’s validating that a firm with the caliber of First Round has decided to further invest into the company.”

To date, the firm has brought on $6.25 million in venture capital, including the $1.75 million raise that started out as a small angel round until Kopelman got wind of the deal. That raise, then billed as a seed round, is now being called a “SAFE note round.”

It’s a complex pitch, but what Amino is essentially trying to do is bring transparency to online ad payments through the blockchain. Using Amino, companies can safely acquire ads on websites via a secure ledger. Getting short-changed while buying online ads is a frequent problem for companies, Luttrell told last March.

The funding, per Luttrell, will allow the company to grow and operate at least through 2018. In the meantime, it will focus on customer acquisition and generation of revenue.

“David and I knew that we were coming off some major value inflection milestones,” the cofounder said. “We’re placing a bet to raise a smaller round now before we take any further dilution. We’re betting that certain key events that are going to raise our valuation are going to happen and some already have. It looks like the bet is a good one.”


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