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Andreessen Horowitz leads $5M round in blockchain-based internet archive

Celia Wan

Arweave, a blockchain protocol focused on storing internet information permanently, has secured $5 million in venture funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. 

Announced on Tuesday, the seed round was reportedly oversubscribed, with participation from Multicoin Capital, Union Square Ventures, 1kx, and Techstars. The firm's solution, the permaweb, allows internet users to permanently record digital files such as webpages, emails, and social media posts on its blockchain through the Arweave browser extension. 

Founded in 2017 by Ph.D. dropout Sam Williams, Arweave went through Techstars Berlin's mentorship program in 2018 and went live last June. According to a company statement, over 45,000 objects were stored on the permaweb in October alone and over 100 apps have been built on the Arweave mainnet. 

Describing Arweave's mission as "to become the new Library of Alexandria," Williams hopes that storing information on blockchain can help ensure "that humanity’s shared knowledge and history is available to all future generations." 

“The core concept of the Permaweb is foreign to most people because it’s an entirely new market that has never existed before. We don’t expect Arweave to replace the Internet Archive; rather, we expect the market to expand exponentially as there are many verticals beyond internet archiving that want permanent storage but didn’t know it was possible before," said Multicoin Capital managing partner Kyle Samani. 

Williams said that the newly raised capital will help fund the company's developer outreach and adoption efforts.