The next iteration of the internet is here. Web3 is a decentralized online ecosystem built on the blockchain that’s free of any corporate control. However, the transition to this new paradigm requires technical know-how and infrastructure. Thirdweb is a newly-launched infrastructure platform that seeks to build the future of the internet with its easy-to-build platform for NFTs and Web3 apps. Whether it’s DAOs, games, marketplaces, tokens & currencies, and drops, the platform is equipped to allow creators to seamlessly build robust products without knowledge of code and engineering degrees. All projects are deployed on-chain, providing ownership and control; the platform supports a number of blockchain protocols including Ethereum, Polygon, and Avalanche with plans to add Solana and Flow shortly. The platform is free to use and only earns revenue by taking a percentage of royalties for NFTs sold in marketplaces, aligning interests between thirdweb and its users.
AlleyWatch caught up with thirdweb Cofounder Steven Bartlett to learn more about how thirdweb is poised to power the mass adoption of Web3, the company’s expansion plans, recent round of funding, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
thirdweb has just closed a $5M round of funding from a pool of high-profile business leaders, entrepreneurs and A-List creators including: Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur and prolific angel investor, Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt, Shaan Puri, investor in Deel and Bolt, Imran Khan & Qiao Wang, founders of DeFi Alliance, Soona Amhaz, founder of Volt Capital, Greg Isenberg, cofounder & CEO of Late Checkout and advisor to Reddit, Packy McCormick, founder of Not Boring, and Christian Angermayer, founder of Atai Life Sciences and Apeiron Investment Group. Over 1,000 developers are using thirdweb in the early access stages, while major brands including Nike, Disney, Bumble, and Meta have stated their intentions to build products for the metaverse, Web3, and NFT spaces.
Tell us about the product or service that thirdweb offers.
thirdweb is a groundbreaking new technology platform for building NFT and Web3 apps. With thirdweb, launching a Web3 project is as simple as creating an e-commerce store on Shopify. thirdweb makes it easy to build Web3 apps including blockchain games, NFT platforms, DAOs, and creator projects. It equips creators, artists, developers, game studios, and entrepreneurs with an intuitive suite of tools to seamlessly add features to Web3 projects including NFTs, social tokens & currencies, marketplaces (for buying and selling tokens), and NFT lootboxes & drops – in a matter of clicks.
thirdweb, which supports a multi-chain ecosystem of blockchains, provides smart contracts, SDKs, widgets and UI components for creating customized Web3 ecosystems. Adding a feature with thirdweb deploys an on-chain contract on the developer’s behalf which gives them full control and ownership of their projects.
After being at the center of the Web3 explosion, we saw the potential of Web3 and how it would dramatically restructure the internet in favor of the people who build and use it. Furqan and I quickly learned that building for this new technology was slow and cumbersome due to a whole new way of programming. We knew if we could take away those complexities, we would be able to significantly accelerate the adoption of Web3.
How is thirdweb different?
thirdweb allows its users to unlock the potential of this 3rd iteration of the internet without having to learn a brand-new coding language and without needing to hire a completely new team. In the same way that Stripe made payments easy for builders and creators, thirdweb makes Web3 simple and accessible.
What market does thirdweb target and how big is it? Web3 touches every single industry and every single person’s job. Gary Vaynerchuk noted that every single sports team will use NFTs instead of physical tickets. Every single gaming company can now create an economy that exists not just in the walls of their game but outside on the wider web with this decentralized technology based on the blockchain. I look at the clients I’ve worked with in the last 10 years in fashion, gaming, commerce and know that every single one of their businesses will be completely reimagined by the potential of Web3.
What’s your business model?
The platform is free to use until royalties and fees are programmed into the sales of NFTs that are launched. thirdweb takes a small percentage (5%) of the royalties of secondary sales, which means the company’s compensation is in direct proportion to the success of its customers.
What are your post-COVID office plans?
We have a global team spread across US, UK & Europe and our intention is to continue to expand with both remote and office-based roles.
What was the funding process like?
We focused on bringing in partners who were as passionate about the space as we were. Everyone we spoke to was excited about the potential of Web3 and believed in the team we have assembled to execute on unlocking that potential.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check? The team. Both of us have had the chance to build in Web2 and dotcom, and we’ve seen the evolution of the internet and the impact it’s made. The opportunity to make it really easy for the next generation of builders, so that they could build NFT projects, marketplaces, and tokens without any of the blockchain complexity, was a reason they all came on board.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months? The capital will be used to hire for both the technical and growth teams, with the aim of rapidly scaling the business. The company’s priority is ensuring its early customers are as successful as possible building projects using the platform.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term? thirdweb will evolve alongside the market and will shape the way creators, brands & companies build Web3 projects. The team will continue to expand as the Web3 market explodes and we will be at the forefront of this revolutionary change.