Silicon Valley-based Alchemy has raised $200 million, making it the latest cryptocurrency startup to achieve unicorn status, the company announced on Tuesday.
Led by venture capital outfits Lightspeed Partners and Silver Lake, the series C funding raised Alchemy’s valuation to $10.2 billion — an almost $7 billion increase since announcing its last campaign in October 2021.
A crypto infrastructure company, Alchemy plays a critical role for the booming cryptocurrency sector, while not being consumer-facing.
Alchemy provides blockchain infrastructure and developer tools to a significant portion of the crypto economy. Its role is similar to web architecture provided by Microsoft and Apple, which built operating systems for personal computers, and Amazon Web Services, which now supports a major chunk of the internet’s data,
The company provides infrastructure and programming tools to non-fungible token (NFT) creators and marketplaces, including Axie Infinity, Dapper Labs, Open Sea, as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Aave, Sushiswap, Yearn.Finance and The Graph.
“We power virtually every major NFT platform and a majority of decentralized finance,” Nikil Viswanathan, Alchemy co-founder and CEO told Yahoo Finance.
Alchemy isn't the only one raising big sums of venture capital. The Ethereum (ETH-USD) scaling protocol Polygon announced recently it raised a whopping $450 million by selling a bulk sum of its native token (MATIC-USD) to Sequoia Capital India, and several other major investors.
According to Viswanathan, last year’s excitement around crypto is carrying over into 2022, with companies in and outside of the sector seeking to build products that incorporate things like NFTs and DeFi applications.
Two recent examples include social media giant Twitter letting users add their NFTs as profile pictures and Google’s Cloud division launching their own digital asset team. Alchemy’s client Adobe is also using their NFT programming software to enable artists and designers to share their NFTs on its social media platform, Behance.
The most significant obstacle broader technology companies face launching crypto initiatives is that crypto data resting on a blockchain is inherently more difficult to format. The difficulty leaves a growing opening for infrastructure providers like Alchemy.
Already crypto investors have poured more than $1.7 billion into infrastructure-related companies and projects in 2022 according to fundraising data compiled by Dove Metrics.
“We see Web3 as having a larger global impact than the internet or the personal computer but we haven’t touched our series B or C money yet. This isn’t a 3 to 9 month game. It's a decade long journey,” Viswanathan added.
David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.