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Steven Bartlett of Dragons’ Den gains £20m funding for blockchain platform

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technology platform for building blockchain projects co-founded by Steven Bartlett of Dragons’ Den has raised 24 million dollars (£20 million) in a funding round.

Thirdweb – a platform for people and companies to build apps for the “next generation of the internet”, or Web3 – secured the funding from large investors including Haun Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Shopify and Polygon.

The series A funding round valued the company at 160 million dollars (£136 million), it announced on Thursday.

Steven Bartlett, who has been the youngest dragon on BBC 1’s Dragons’ Den, co-founded the platform with Furqan Rydhan in 2021.

I don’t think anybody quite realizes how much Web3 is going to change the world

More than 80,000 developers have used the platform which generates 1.5 million dollars (£1.3 million) in revenue every week, the company said.

People can use the platform to build non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – tokens on the blockchain that can be used to represent digital items like art, collectibles, or real estate. They cannot be exchanged like cryptocurrencies as each token is unique.

Global fashion companies have launched their own NFT projects, with sportswear giant Nike selling digital trainers, called Cryptokicks, and reportedly bringing in more than 185 million dollars (£157 million) in revenue.

Thirdweb makes it quicker and cheaper to build and launch applications on Web3 without having to write a single line of code, the company claimed.

The cash raised will be used to speed up development of the platform to meet growing demand, add support for additional blockchains, and bring in hundreds of thousands of new brands, individuals and creators, the founders said.

“Web3 is the most important technological shift I’ve witnessed in my lifetime”, said Mr Bartlett.

“We built Thirdweb to give the builders that are creating this next iteration of the internet the tools they need to be successful, and when they are successful, the world as we know it will be remarkably different – remarkably better.

“I don’t think anybody quite realises how much Web3 is going to change the world.”

Crashing cryptocurrency prices have shaken the digital ecosystem in recent months. Bitcoin fell by almost 20% in June after a major crypto lender froze withdrawals and transfers.

While cyrpto trading platform Coinbase – among the companies leading the funding round in Thirdweb – recently said it would cut almost a fifth of its workforce after sharp price declines and financial losses.

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