Zap, the Lightning startup behind a non-custodial Bitcoin wallet, has raised $3.5 million in a seed round in April.
As reported by Forbes on July 15, previously undiscovered filings by the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission revealed Zap raised $3.5 million in the April seed round with investors including Green Oaks Capital and Morgan Creek Digital, co-founded by Bitcoin bull Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano.
What is Zap?
A non-custodial wallet, Zap stands out from others by enabling users to instantly purchase Bitcoin (BTC) using a U.S. bank account via the Lightning Network.
Zap CEO Jack Mallers is the grandson of Bill Mallers, who helped found the Chicago Board of Exchange and the son of Bill Mallers Jr., who co-founded brokerage firm First American Discount Corporation.
Mallers has said Zap’s ultimate goal is make Bitcoin more accessible and “used for all that it has to offer by the masses.”
“Our users today don’t ever know we’re using Bitcoin when they’re using dollars. It’s just kind of like we’ve melted it in the background. I think tens of millions of people will be using this stuff in the next few years, and that just takes a little bit of capital.”
As Cointelegraph reported in September last year, Mallers explained crypto newbies could “swipe their debit card, get Bitcoin delivered to them directly onto the Lightning Network, and make inexpensive instant micropayments within seconds.” This solution could lower both the settlement time and fees associated with buying BTC.
Partnering with Visa
Zap joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program in June, which enables the app to launch a Visa co-branded card. According to Forbes, the company has several projects involving Visa, but only Zap’s credit card has been announced at this time.
“We’re contractually obligated to launch one in the next 12 months and we plan on launching one in the next few months,” he said.
Strike, strike, strike
Cointelegraph reported on July 6 that Maller’s app Strike was in public beta. Though both apps are designed for sending and receiving Bitcoin payments directly to a bank account via Lightning, Strike doesn’t require a wallet, seed, channels or liquidity to operate. Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols have also reportedly been kept to a bare minimum.
Competition wants in on Lightning
Zap is far from the only company looking to take advantage of untapped potential on the Lightning Network. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square announced in January it had started a Lightning Development Kit which could also lead to Bitcoin payments with lower fees.