Alchemy co-founders Joseph Lau and Nikil Viswanathan
Alchemy co-founders Joseph Lau and Nikil Viswanathan. Phuc Pham/Wired

In their latest announcement, the San Francisco-based blockchain company revealed their infrastructure platform. Quiet in style, Alchemy has been slowly amassing user base, nowadays serving more than one million users per week in over 200 countries.

Investors

The startup recently raised $15 million in a Series A funding led by institutional investors such as Pantera Capital, Stanford University, and Coinbase.

Angel investors like Google chairman John Hennesy, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Yahoo founder Jerry Yang also participated in the funding campaign, contributing to what Yang believes to be the project that will accelerate blockchain adoption.

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Speaking to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, Yang, who rarely gives interviews, said:

“For any new technology, developer infrastructure and tools are required to enable broader application development and adoption. We’ve seen this happen in previous tech waves like PC and the web. Alchemy is trying to do the same thing for the blockchain space. They have the opportunity to meaningfully accelerate the entire blockchain industry.”

Brief history

The startup was founded in 2017 by Stanford computer science classmates Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau. You might know the two as the creators of the explosive-in-popularity social app Down To Lunch, which helped people find hangout-ready friends using emojis.

Alchemy co-founders (from left): Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau
Alchemy co-founders (from left): CEO Nikil Viswanathan and CTO Joe Lau. Alchemy

When cryptocurrency boomed in 2017, the two classmates decided to just go for it. Drawing on experience from their previous jobs at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, Nikil and Joe knew that a solid development infrastructure is what blockchain needs if it is ever going to become mainstream.

“Joe and I have seen that historically, great developer infrastructure was the catalyst for mainstream adoption of new technologies. The invention of the operating system brought computers to billions of people around the world,” said Viswanathan.

Lau continued:

“We realized blockchain technology would develop in the same way, so we’re working to enable mainstream adoption by providing the industry with the high quality infrastructure and developer tools that it needs.”

Customers

The Alchemy platform is already being used by customers across all sectors, including finance, healthcare, gaming, and entertainment.

To put company names to industries, some of Alchemy’s more prominent customers include CryptoKitties, Augur, 0x, Radar, and Kyber Network.

And to spotlight a specific example, Augur noted that using Alchemy helped solve 98% of their reliability issues. Augur’s director of operations Tom Kysar told TechCrunch:

“Since using Alchemy, our team has been able to refocus it’s time on building new product features for Augur that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. We used to spend a notable amount of time dealing with infrastructure issues, and now we don’t worry at all.”

Setting up the stage

Alchemy’s investors on the other hand, helped steer the startup in the right direction, firmly believing that what the company is doing will set up the stage for the success of the blockchain industry.

John Hennessy, chairman of Alphabet, said:

“I’ve been closely involved in companies that shaped the earlier internet like Google. What Alchemy is doing in blockchain has the potential to be similarly transformational, and Nikil and Joe have the deep technical background and proven entrepreneurial track record to make it happen.”

What’s really interesting is that, both founders of the project are available to customers on Telegram. Nikil justifies the hands-on approach, saying “it’s not just good customer support. It gives us really great user feedback.”

And speaking of the similarities between their enterprise and past revolutions in technology, the young CEO noted:

“It’s 1972. Who used computers? Only computer companies. By 2019, the entire world. In 1992, who used the web? Only internet companies. By 2019, the entire world. In 2019, who uses blockchain?”

Prior to today, Alchemy had been powering the blockchain infrastructure for select companies for about two years. After today’s announcement, the platform is available to everyone interested in developing robustly on top of blockchain.

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