In brief

  • UK crypto startup Zumo, which is backed by Coldplay's Guy Berryman, has launched a payments app.
  • Zumo is targeting mainstream investors with an easy to use, non-custodial app and wallet.
  • The crypto venture is Berryman's first known involvement in the industry.

Scottish fintech Zumo, which is aiming to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses with a new mobile wallet and payments app, counts Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman among its investors. 

Zumo’s app and wallet, which launched today, allow users to send and spend crypto and other currencies anywhere in the world. Its platform aims to be as easy to use as popular exchange Coinbase, but much cheaper and faster. Notably, it also gives users control of their private keys, unlike many rival wallets.

Guy Berryman, Chris Martin and Jon Buckland of Coldplay performing in Prague in 2012. Image: Shutterstock.

"Our fully decentralized wallet technology means that, unlike with many of our competitors, users truly own their crypto assets,” the startup’s founder Nick Jones told Decrypt. “Being a Zumo user means having the highest level of security for your crypto assets combined with the most user friendly platform to manage and spend them. We're committed to building a self sovereign financial future that puts the user in control of their money.” 

Bringing crypto to small private investors

Zumo launched in 2018 in response to growing demand from small private investors to own cryptocurrencies, said Jones. 

Its timing could be propitious; unlike many other assets, Bitcoin has seen double-digit growth since coronavirus panic gripped the markets.

Users don’t need a bank account to use Zumo; the platform already allows users to trade and hold Bitcoin and Ethereum. In the coming weeks, it’s incorporating stablecoins and fiat currencies including sterling and euros on its app, which works in conjunction with a debit card.  

“Our app was created for everyone. That includes the hundreds of millions of ordinary people who trust in global financial markets where they exert no agency,” said Jones. “We want those people to own their own money in a way that wasn’t possible when the last financial crash hit in 2008.”

Zumo's team at their Edinburgh offices. Image: Zumo

From Coldplay to crypto

Berryman was an early investor in the startup, but has recently upped his level of investment, a Zumo spokesperson told Decrypt. The startup’s other backers include Edinburgh-based investment fund Murray Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank. 

To date, the Coldplay star—who is estimated to be worth $90 million—hasn’t been known for having an interest in crypto. His previous business ventures include a clothing shop, Jezebel, which closed down due to debt, according to Wikipedia. The most recent is classic car magazine The Road Rat, launched in 2019. 

Naturally, alongside his collection of Bugattis and Porsches, he already owns crypto’s motor of choice, a Lamborghini.