Alchemy

Alchemy closes a $250 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz

More companies are protecting assets against future eventualities by adapting their emerging technologies to blockchain — and through NFTs (or non-fungible tokens).

Alchemy Insights Inc. is one of them.

The San-Francisco-based firm recently secured a seat in the crypto unicorn club after a $250 million funding from Andreessen Horowitz. Alchemy is now valued at roughly $3.5 billion, a sevenfold value increase since April.

Alchemy is the go-between smartphone apps and blockchain (a technology that made Bitcoin popular). The Alchemy platform allows developers to create smartphone apps on top of (common) blockchains. A case in point is the Ethereum blockchain.

Alchemy powers well-known companies

Through Alchemy’s infrastructure, some famous companies have come to life, including OpenSea (largest NFT marketplace), Axie Infinity (video game), NBA Top Shot, and the makers of CryptoKitties, Dapper Labs.

Alchemy’s career highlight is powering the most expensive $69 million NFT that a digital artist (Beeple) sold — the third biggest sale of any artwork by a living artist.

NFTs are (expensive) digital artworks, and can be in the form of video game items, memes, virtual fashion, music, and more art.

Alchemy’s success has attracted partnerships with PwC and Adobe. Speaking of Adobe, the company is planning to allow digital artists to create NFTs using Photoshop.

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Companies trying to future-proof products

Joe Lau, Alchemy’s co-founder and CTO, speaking on their latest round of $250 million funding, said tech companies are driven by their products — they don’t want to see them become obsolete in the future.

So, the funding is to ensure “they’re up to date on emerging technologies”.

Lau adds that Andreessen chose to support Alchemy because “they’re young enough that they remember what it was like to see a new technology [like Alchemy] come up”.

Investors compare Alchemy to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which acts as a middleman between the Internet and Uber (or Netflix) — both companies host their websites on Amazon Web Services.

Alchemy’s behind-the-scenes structure has helped build apps, including social networks and video games. Thanks to the company’s massive success, many now regard Alchemy as “Web 3.0”, and for a good reason.

Ali Yahiya, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said many people think blockchains are all about finance, digital currencies, or money. Nothing more.

But Yahiya disputes the fallacies and says blockchains are “more powerful and [they] allow for a much broader set of applications”.

Since April, Alchemy’s revenue grew 15 times more — and according to its founders, October has been the most profitable month. The company is four years old.