Thirdweb, a software startup for web3 projects, closed on $5 million in funding from a group of high-profile business leaders, entrepreneurs and creators, including Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban.
The company launched its free tools three months ago for developers to build, launch and manage their web3 projects without writing any lines of code. Thirdweb was created by Social Chain founder Steven Bartlett and Furqan Rydhan, who was founding CTO of Bebo and AppLovin.
Thirdweb, with offices in London and San Francisco, enables the addition of features, including NFTs, social tokens and currencies, marketplaces for buying and selling tokens and NFT loot boxes and drops, in a few clicks.
Bartlett told TechCrunch that he had been intrigued by web3 and cryptocurrency and followed the space for over four years. When Bartlett met Rydhan, who said he was an early investor in crypto, they clicked over web3.
“We knew that builders would want to build in this space and that they would need a tool,” Rydhan said. “We started with a base set of ideas, and over the course of a year, built out Thirdweb and now have hundreds of customers integrating SDKs. Like the way Stripe made it easy to plug in, our code is similar, but we wrote it to give to everyone.”
They’ve been working with the early adopters on features, some of whom have been using Thirdweb for over a year. They also say companies like Nike, Disney, Bumble and Meta are already itching to begin building apps and products, like blockchain games, NFT platforms, DAOs and creator projects, for the metaverse, web3 and NFT spaces.
While it’s still early, the company just crossed over its 500th unique project built using its tools. Some of the immediate use cases have been with art, but now Bartlett and Rydhan are seeing more complex web3 apps being built and gated communities that want to create a space.
Thirdweb’s goal is to get to over 1,000 developers, teams and companies using the tools, and Rydhan said the company is “well on our way to doing that.”
The new capital will be used to hire both on the technical and growth teams and will focus on marketing and video assets to educate users on its tools. Thirdweb will continue to be free to use until royalties and fees are programmed into the sales of NFTs that are launched. At that time, the company will take 5% of the royalties of secondary sales, which means the company’s compensation is in direct proportion to the success of its customers, the co-founders said.
Web3 is happening and NFTs are here for the rest of our collective lives,” Vaynerchuk said via email. “Look at what happened from 1995 to 2000 on the ‘internet’ and use that history lesson to deploy how much will be ‘fixed’ in web3 over the next half decade. I’m excited to see Thirdweb accelerate this shift. Fifteen years ago, no one believed that the world would be full of social media creators and artists. Web3 is now giving them the opportunity to own their creations and get a fair share of the profits, and I think that’s something you don’t want to miss. I believe in this space, I believe in this team, I believe in their vision, I believe in the opportunity and I believe in their execution.”