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November 17, 2021

Alchemy cofounders Joseph Lau, 32, and Nikil Viswanathan, 34, started their entrepreneurial careers in 2015 when they built an app to make meeting up for $6 Safeway fried chicken lunches with their friends easier. Called Down To Lunch, the app soon became the most popular social app in the world, and Lau and Viswanathan wanted to fortify it with blockchain technology. But when they realized a platform for developing blockchain didn’t exist, they built their own in Alchemy.

Since its August 2020 launch, Alchemy has become the world’s leading blockchain and Web3 development platform, powering more than $45 billion in transactions. Today the company announces a $250 million Series C led by Andreessen Horowitz—with participation from Lightspeed, Redpoint and existing investors Coatue, Addition, DFJ and Pantera—bringing total funding to $345 million at a $3.5 billion valuation. Unlike most companies raising Series C rounds, Alchemy says it’s extremely profitable and has enough money in the bank for 10 years of runway.

If they don’t need the money to hire, launch products or fill the office fridge with snacks, why raise? Viswanathan and Lau say they did so to strengthen blockchain’s already strong grip on the world. “It wasn’t really about the money,” says Viswanathan, who is the company’s CEO. “We want to align ourselves with the best partners in the space that help bring blockchain to the world as quickly as possible, and Andreessen Horowitz is the best of the best.”

Alchemy aims to do for blockchain what Amazon Web Services did for the internet, and before that, what Microsoft did for the PC. Here’s how: Using Alchemy’s development suite, companies ranging in size from a dorm room-founded token with a paltry market value to consulting giant PwC can build blockchain-enabled products. Alchemy’s tools for engineers include an Ethereum API, app notifications and analytics dashboards. Because its tools are available for free, Alchemy says it powers nearly every NFT in the world. Alchemy, however, generates its revenue from its sale of growth and enterprise products that utilize more advanced versions of options of its blockchain building box.

“I know to a lot of people it’ll sound crazy, but we have the chance to shape the course of history,” says Viswanathan. “Imagine if you could help build the internet and bring that technology to the world or help bring computers to the world—this is of a similar impact.”

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