The Silicon Valley-based non-fungible token (NFT) and crypto infrastructure startup Alchemy recently raised $200 million in funding, making it the latest crypto company to achieve unicorn status.
Unicorns are privately held companies that are valued at over $1 billion, and Alchemist now has tenfold that. The Series C fundraising campaign led by Silver Lake and Lightspeed Partners boosted Alchemy’s valuation to $10.2 billion—a $7 billion increase since its last campaign in October 2021.
Alchemy provides blockchain infrastructure and developer tools to a large part of the crypto economy. Similar to how Apple and Microsoft build operating systems for personal computers, Alchemy provides infrastructure and programming tools to some of the biggest NFT creators and marketplaces.
Some of their clients include the NFT marketplace OpenSea, video game giant Axie Infinity, and the creators of NBA Top Shot Dapper Labs. They also work with DeFi protocols such as SushiSwap, Aave, the Graph, and Yearn.Finance.
The Need for NFT and Crypto Infrastructure Companies
The success of NFTs and cryptocurrencies in 2021 — which saw the NFT market soar to over $25 billion — appears to be carrying into 2022. Unsurprisingly, Alchemy isn’t the only crypto startup making big moves in the market.
Polygon, the Ethereum scaling protocol, recently raised $450 million by selling a bulk sum of MATIC (its native cryptocurrency) to Sequoia Capital India and other investors. And as Web 3.0 and the metaverse continue to evolve, more companies, brands, sports leagues, and celebrities are incorporating NFTs and DeFi applications into their business models.
From Twitter verifying NFT profile pictures to the National Football League creating NFT collectibles for the 2022 Playoffs and Super Bowl, the nascent NFT and crypto markets appear to only be getting started.
And investors are paying attention. According to Dove Metrics, crypto investors have already dumped $1.7 billion into infrastructure-related projects and companies in 2022 alone.
As more companies launch crypto initiatives, they will be a growing demand for infrastructure providers like Alchemy. But despite the impressive fundraising round, Alchemist is playing the long game when it comes to Web 3. They said they see “Web3 as having a larger global impact than the internet or the personal computer.”
Only time will tell if Alchemist is correct, but the big backing shows that they’re not the only ones who think so.