Alchemy, the San Francisco start-up that has been quietly boosting the non-fungible token (NFT) industry, aims to grow its hold on the sector further. The startup announced it is initiating a series B funding round to be led by tech-centric investments management company Coatue and London-based investment firm Addition Capital.
The call for funding was formally announced last April 28, 2021.
Seen as an industrial middleman, Alchemy is one of the companies profiting well from the current popularity of digital collectibles, specifically through the companies who are using its online building platform.
Alchemy’s platform was used to create popular consumer-focused digital collectives hub Dapper Labs which, in turn, created popular sites CryptoKitties, NBA Top Shot, and OpenSea, which is currently considered the world’s largest NFT marketplace.
It’s also important to note that digital artist Beeple’s record-breaking NFT, sold at $69 million, was also powered by Alchemy.
As of March 31st, the number of companies powered by Alchemy’s technology has doubled, and the company has noted 97% in growth on its platform. Throughout the first quarter of this year, Alchemy powered over $30 billion in transactions, while NFT sales rose to more than $2 billion.
But while NFTs have been the most vital driver for the company’s growth throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, Alchemy’s top management have noted increased interest from the global financial sector.
The popularity of NFTs has risen substantially this year, given how celebrities, independent artists, professional athletes, and performers are all jumping onto the virtual collectibles bandwagon. A modern rethink, so to speak, of the baseball cards of yore, NFTs allow consumers to own pieces of art, sports-centric trading cards, and other virtual merchandise.
An Interesting Mix of Funders
As an industrial middleman, Alchemy straddles the line between traditional blockchain infrastructure developers and consumer-ready apps like those mentioned above.
In which case, this has made the company appealing to a diverse range of investors. Indeed, the list of those participating in this most recent call for funding includes chart-topping EDM duo The Chainsmokers, the Glazier family which owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, and DFJ Growth which has invested in the SpaceX program, payment portal Stripe, and cryptocurrency company Coinbase.
The now four-year-old company made its public debut in August of last year. Despite its relative newness to the industry, Alchemy has attracted quite a following, resulting in investors from diverse fields of interest.
Alchemy’s initial capital table was made possible through Charles Schwab, founder of the investment company that bears his name; rapper Jay-Z; PayPal founder Peter Thiel; former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang; and Alphabet chairman and former Stanford University John Hennessy.
Hennessy has spoken well of Alchemy and its founders, Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau, citing how their platform – and others like it – have helped drive the adoption of new technologies in various industries, blockchain in particular.
“[The company] is uniquely positioned to greatly accelerate the growth of the blockchain industry,” Hennessy said, comparing Alchemy’s work to what Amazon did to spur on the meteoric rise of the online retail industry.