thirdweb Roars into Life for NFT and Web3 App Action

‘Dragons' Den’ dynamo and founding CTO of Bebo and AppLovin launch their company with $5 million (£3.7 million) in funding.

thirdweb has powered up to offer a technology platform for building non-fungible token (NFT) and Web3 apps. 

The startup is the creation of Steven Bartlett, the founder of social media marketing agency Social Chain and “the youngest investor” on BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ TV show; and Furqan Rydhan, founding CTO of Bebo and AppLovin.

With offices in London, New York and San Francisco, thirdweb has just closed a $5 million (£3.7 million) round of funding from various entrepreneurs and angel investors.

Bartlett explains: “We built thirdweb to allow entrepreneurs, developers, brands and creators to unlock the potential of this third iteration of the internet in the easiest way possible – 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 easy, unintimidating and accessible.”

Rydhan adds: “It’s inevitable that Web3 will be the foundation for the next wave of the internet, and we’re excited to be providing the tools to build decentralised apps easily”

According to the startup, over 1,000 developers are using thirdweb in the early access stages.

It’s looking ahead, but notes that brands including Nike, Disney, Bumble and Meta have stated their intentions to build products for the metaverse, Web3 and NFT spaces. The company may have a point as those three themes have got a lot of media, consumer and corporate attention.

Along with the Stripe analogy, thirdweb reckons launching a Web3 project is as simple as an e-commerce store on Shopify.

thirdweb allows users to build Web3 apps including blockchain games, NFT platforms, DAOs and creator projects. People can add features to projects including social tokens & currencies, marketplaces (for buying and selling tokens), and NFT lootboxes & drops.

The tech company says it supports a multi-chain ecosystem of blockchains, provides smart contracts, SDKs, widgets and UI components.

The funding will be used to hire for both the technical and growth teams.

thirdweb explains that its platform is free to use until royalties and fees are programmed into the sales of NFTs that are launched. thirdweb takes 5% of the royalties of secondary sales.

Bartlett and Rydhan both have interesting backgrounds.

Born in Botswana and raised in Plymouth (UK), Bartlett founded Social Chain from a bedroom in Manchester. That company now has a market valuation of over $600 million (£452 million) with offices in London, Manchester, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles.

Rydhan is based in San Francisco, and started working at a dot-com at 15, built a “multi-million dollar” e-commerce company at 17, and has spent the last couple of decades building software and hardware companies. AppLovin was founded in 2010 and went public in April 2021 with a market capitalisation value of $28.6 billion (£21.5 billion).

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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