Blockchain technology provider Alchemy has raised $ 80 million from investors led by Coatue Management and Addition LP and has given the startup a valuation of $ 500 million.

The fresh capital will help Alchemy expand the developer tools it provides to blockchains other than just Ethereum, strengthen its presence in New York and Southern California, and open offices in Europe and Asia, said co-founder Joe Lau in an interview. Further investors in the Series B financing round are DFJ Venture Capital; the Glazer family, who own Manchester United football club; and rock band The Chainsmokers.

Alchemy, which supports 70% of the top apps on Ethereum, made its services available to any business or developer just eight months ago. Previously, only selected customers were accepted.

WATCH: Alchemy Co-Founder and CTO Joe Lau explains what the company’s platform is doing for the blockchain space to secure a new round of funding.

Investors have pumped money into cryptocurrency projects like Digital Asset Holdings and Chainalysis, with Bitcoin and Ether prices hitting records in recent months. So far this year, 156 startups focused on digital technology have raised $ 3.1 billion, compared to 341 deals that were allocated $ 2.3 billion for 2020 as a whole, according to CB Insights.

“It really underscores the power of blockchain and the industry as a whole and how blockchain has become mainstream,” said Nikil Viswanathan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Alchemy, in an interview. “Alchemy has shown very solidly that we offer the same acceleration service for blockchain as Amazon Web Services for the Internet.”

Read more: Jay-Z, Charles Schwab-backed Ethereum app opens doors to the public

Alchemy helps create a business model called Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as opposed to a centralized unit that controls operations. The Ethereum blockchain makes this possible because computer programs, so-called smart contracts, can be operated within this distributed network.

Still other blockchains like Flow, which power the National Basketball Association’s non-fungible top shot tokens, are gaining traction. Alchemy plans to expand its tools to flow, Viswanathan said.

Alchemy calls itself a “blockchain agnostic” and aims to help as many distributed computer networks as possible thrive, Lau said.

“Investors see us as a bet on the blockchain industry as a whole,” he said.

Tom Glocer, senior independent director at Morgan Stanley, said he was an alchemy investor, partly because he saw Lau and Viswanathan approach blockchain with “systemic issues” three years ago.

“I couldn’t tell you whether Bitcoin would go up or down, or whether I should buy ether,” said Glocer, noting that he wanted to put his money into a company that would help make the crypto ecosystem work. “I want to invest in the picks and shovels.”

Read more: NFTs mushroomed into the billion dollar market with the help of Alchemy

Last August, Alchemy said it had 4 million users worldwide and about $ 7.8 billion annually flowing through the applications that used its services. Today the company has tens of millions of customers and over $ 30 billion in annual transactions.

Its services are also used by NFT platforms such as OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare and Makersplace, which Christie’s used for the record breaking NFT auction of digital artist Beeple valued at $ 69 million.

Read More: Crypto Whale Behind $ 69 Million NFT Sees “Big Risk” For Traders

The challenge for Alchemy, which only has 20 employees, will be to grow the business to meet demand in the fast-paced crypto world, Glocer said.

“You have to scale the company to handle the entrance,” he said.

Before it’s here, it’s in the Bloomberg Terminal.



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