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Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Leads Investment In ‘Picks And Shovels’ Blockchain Firm

Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Leads Investment In ‘Picks And Shovels’ Blockchain Firm
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Seven Seven Six, an investment fund founded by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and crypto bull, led an initial investment of $5.3 million in QuickNode, a company working on the future of the decentralized internet. Other investors include SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Arrington XRP Capital, and Crossbeam.vc.

Founded in 2017, QuickNode is an intermediary company, which means that it sits between its customers and the blockchain as an intermediary. Service offerings, which include a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), can be used to query blockchain data and facilitate the operation of decentralized applications. The QuickNode platform supports integration with six networks: Bitcoin, Ethereum, xDai, Polygon (MATIC), Binance Smart Chain, and Optimistic Ethereum.

QuickNode, which is profitable, currently serves more than 30 billion orders per month and increased its revenue by more than 1,000% in 2020. Notable clients include data analytics companies CoinGecko, DappRadar, and Dune Analytics. Other clients include decentralized lottery service provider PoolTogether and decentralized finance (DeFi) startup Fairmint.

Talking to Forbes Before the announcement, Ohanian, who was also an early investor in leading crypto exchange Coinbase, said, “When you market services to developers, you won’t be winning on a whiz. [the product itself]. Is what you’re building actually an important part of these companies’ infrastructure? And the numbers don’t lie when you see growth like this.”

With the capital increase, QuickNode will expand and expand its business to support more blockchains and offer a more diversified product suite. “We will continue to expand our platform, build features, and a higher level of abstraction to help developers save time, save money, get to market faster and build the best version of their apps,” said Dmitriy Shklovsky, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of QuickNode. Regarding the new blockchains that will be supported, Shklovsky noted that they have “about half a dozen additional networks in the pipeline.” While he declined to reveal specific names, Shklovsky said they would all be compatible with Ethereum.

Bridging the decentralized central divide

However, it should be noted that while QuickNode may lead a decentralized future, the company itself is a centralized entity like Coinbase. In addition, it hosts its services on traditional cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Digital Ocean. While the use of multiple services provides redundancy, each one of them stands as a potential bottleneck. However, the company is open to incorporating decentralized and blockchain-based storage platforms in the future when its performance can support the needs of its customers.

When asked about this potential contradiction, at least for the time being, both Ohanian and Shklovsky pointed out that it is important to find the right balance between centralization and decentralization. “Obviously there are some important roles that decentralization plays, and there are obviously important roles that some centralized technologies play,” Ohanian said. “At the end of the day, for Web3 (the blockchain-based internet) to thrive, we will have to take cues from the previous internet boom….which makes it really easy for software engineers to start building and then scale. The blockchain infrastructure is a really important core part.”

Shklovsky echoed this sentiment, “I think Dapper Labs (creator of the NFT NBA Top Shot platform) is the best. They said anything that has value is decentralized. Everything else is there to provide the best user experience.”

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