Offline travel app Maps.me has raised $50 million in a funding round led by Alameda Research, joined by new investors cryptocurrency lender Genesis Capital and crypto firm CMS Holdings, according to a Monday (Jan. 18) announcement, Coindesk reported.
The new funds will be earmarked for the rollout of a multi-currency wallet on Maps.me and will enable a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem on the platform, Coindesk said. With DeFi, it hopes to develop the tool into an “everyday app,” making Maps.me more mainstream.
The offline mapping app has 140 million users worldwide and is striving to create a decentralized finance ecosystem inside the map app.
The goal is to launch an embedded multi-currency wallet inside Maps.me, which provides travel guides and map services and allows users to participate in yield-earning finance and to win cash back via transactions through the wallet.
“By embedding and democratizing access to yield-earning finance to millions of users via an everyday app, Maps.me has the potential to really propel DeFi mainstream adoption and bring a groundbreaking technology to the masses,” Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of Alameda Research and also crypto exchange FTX, told the news outlet.
According to the Coindesk report, over 58 percent of Maps.me users come from the European continent and more than 70 percent are between the ages of 18 and 40.
“We’re excited to be working with our partners to create a DeFi ecosystem on a platform that has already achieved scale in terms of its number of users, and which will expand services that are closely linked to financial needs,” Maps.Me Co-Founder Alex Grebnev said in the statement, per the Coindesk report.
In separate news, Colin Smyth, head of travel at Flywire, told PYMNTS in an interview that travel will likely begin to return in 2021 and into 2022. He said he expects people will ease back into travel to match their comfort levels.