‘AWS for Blockchains’ Alchemy Closes $80M Funding Round at $505M Valuation
Alchemy, fast becoming the blockchain world’s version of Amazon Web Services (AWS), has raised $80 million.
Alchemy’s ubiquitous infrastructure and developer platform has grown since its public launch eight months ago to reach a $500 million valuation, CEO Nikil Viswanathan said in an interview.
The round was co-led by Coatue Management, the tech investment manager led by hedge fund maven Philippe Laffont. Coatue also led a $305 million funding round in March for Dapper Labs, one of Alchemy’s clients.
Also involved in the Alchemy round was Addition, the $1.3 billion fund launched last year by tech investor Lee Fixel. Other notable participants include electro-pop duo The Chainsmokers and the Glazer family, which owns the Manchester United soccer team and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The funding round in Alchemy represents one of the larger blockchain infrastructure bets in recent memory.
The Series B, which brings Alchemy’s total funding to $96 million, also included previous round investors Stanford University, Coinbase Ventures and Communitas Capital.
“Alchemy has created the essential infrastructure needed to develop applications on top of the blockchain,” Addition’s Fixel told CoinDesk via email. “They will play a powerful role in pushing forward the pace of innovation in the blockchain ecosystem in the years ahead.”
In a sense, Alchemy is selling picks and shovels to a gold rush of institutional crypto adoption, DeFi trading and the exploding non-fungible token (NFT) sector.
Alchemy’s suite of cloud-based infrastructure, tailored to decentralized apps, currently powers over $30 billion worth of transactions a year, Viswanathan said, and supports almost all the NFT platforms in existence today.
Viswanathan and Joe Lau, both Forbes “30 Under 30” computer science graduates from Stanford, founded the company back in 2017, but it remained in closed beta until August 2020.
“Whenever you have a new industry, whether it’s a computer or the internet, or blockchain, you always need this developer platform layer,” Viswanathan said, adding:
“For the computer, that was your operating system, so your Windows and Mac OS; and for the internet, that was Amazon Web Services enabling people to build applications on top. Alchemy is driving that same change in the transformational blockchain space.”
Competitors include platforms such as ConsenSys-owned Infura and Truffle. Following the trend toward lower-fee and less-congested alternatives to Ethereum, Alchemy is working with Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain and has “a bunch of other chains” to be announced in the coming weeks, Viswanathan said.
“On the multi-chain side, we’ve put in all this work over the last three years to grow the Ethereum developer ecosystem with developers tools and infrastructure,” Lau said in an interview. “Now other ecosystems are starting to think about their developers and are looking at what we’ve done and saying, ‘Hey, we want what you’ve done for Ethereum on our blockchain as well.’”
Jerry Yang, a founding partner at AME Cloud Ventures and a Yahoo co-founder who also invested in the round, added via email:
“Historically, the advancement of groundbreaking technologies have depended on developer platforms to unlock innovation. What Alchemy is doing in the blockchain space is critical to the mainstream adoption of the technology.”