“Obviously we saw the potential of NFTs, but it was very difficult for average users to access and buy an NFT,” Amir Sarhangi – former Ripple executive, tells Fortune
From Amazon’s sweatshirts to Chipotle’s burritos, BNPL – that is, the point-of-sale financing method that allows shoppers to split a single payment into several smaller ones – has become almost unavoidable on the internet today.
And now, it’s also entering the vast and eclectic world of NFT, in part through a new NFT funding and lending startup called Supermojo which just raised $6 million in initial funding from investors like BH Digital, DRW Venture Capital, Intersection Growth Partners and Neuberger Berman, according to a press release issued Thursday.
Supermojo, which was founded by two former Ripple executives, Amir Sarhangi and Craig DeWitt, wants to make buying and holding NFTs easier, more reliable and more accessible to experts, the curious and novices in the digital asset space.
NFT markets have been opening their doors beyond crypto HODLers for some time now, seeking to cater to the hordes of sports fans, music fans and real estate investors whose interests may identify with the technology behind unique digital goods – NFTs – even though they may not be familiar with the space.
In April, OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, began accepting credit cards, debit cards and even Apple Pay through a partnership with Moonpay.
But the process of buying an NFT with a credit card was far from convenient for many who tried to do so, says Supermojo CEO Sarhangi.
Credit cards tend to have high interest rates and there have also been problems with transactions failing, as some credit card companies define buying an NFT as a “cryptocurrency transaction” that they then block, he adds.
“Obviously we saw the potential of NFTs, but it was very difficult for average users to access and buy an NFT,” Sarhangi, who was vice president of product and delivery at Ripple, tells Fortune. “What we’re doing is just making it easier for the average user to buy an NFT.”
Supermojo plans to work with marketplaces and stores so investors can opt in at checkout to buy the NFT through installment payments, much like a shopper could buy a new microwave on Amazon with four $50 payments over two months. The company will also offer the option for owners to take out a loan to guarantee their NFTs.