Blockchain developer Alchemy has announced that it has raised $80 million in a Series B round to further develop platforms that power non-fungible token marketplaces.
The funding round, announced on Wednesday, April 28, was led by technology-focused investment manager Coatue, and Addition Capital, a venture fund from American investor Lee Fixel.
Also participating in the round was the Glazer family, who own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United, and VC firm DFJ Growth which has also invested in Coinbase, SpaceX, and Stripe.
The band The Chainsmokers, and actor Jared Leto also contributed to the funding round which brings Alchemy’s valuation to $500 million. Existing backers include Pantera Capital, Coinbase, Samsung, Stanford University, and a number of high-profile individuals such as Charles Schwab, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.
According to CNBC, Alchemy has benefited from the NFT craze as it acts as an intermediary between the blockchain itself and the apps and NTF collections that run on it. Alchemy, which launched in December 2019, has seen exponential growth of 97 times on its platform over the past eight months, and the number of companies it powers doubled in the first quarter.
The firm developed the platform that powers Dapper Labs, which in turn launched some of the most successful NFT collections to date including CryptoKitties, and the wildly popular NBA Top Shot. Alchemy was also involved with the record-breaking NFT by digital artist Beeple that sold for $69 million in March.
The firm’s developer platform aims to remove the complexity and costs of building infrastructure on top of the blockchain layer. Alchemy CTO Joe Lau compared the technology to Amazon’s AWS which is the backbone of internet cloud services:
“Every time you open DoorDash, you’re using Amazon’s infrastructure. Every time you interact with an NFT, you’re using Alchemy. It’s being powered by Alchemy underneath the hood.”
Pantera Capital’s Paul Veradittakit also described Alchemy as “the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of the blockchain industry,” that is enabling the vision of a decentralized web.
Alchemy has quickly become the technology behind many major NFT platforms, including OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, CryptoKitties, and Gods Unchained according to the official website. The company concurs with the AWS analogy, stating:
“Just as AWS provides the platform that powers Uber, Netflix, and much of the technology industry, Alchemy powers infrastructure for many large players in the blockchain industry.”
The firm plans to use the funding to support new chains with its developer platform, and expand its employee base which currently stands at a team of just 22 people.
In late March, Alchemy partnered with the Flow blockchain to expand its reach into the burgeoning NFT ecosystem.