Center raises $11M to build NFT search index

Nonfungible token tools company Center today announced that it has raised $11 million in a seed round led by Thrive Capital and Founders Fund to build a search product that will index NFTs across multiple blockchains.

The company believes that it can increase the utility of NFTs, which are a type of crypto asset, by providing services and tools that make them more useful to developers. NFTs represent the ownership of digital items, such as artwork, music, files or other virtual assets stored using blockchain technology that can be bought, sold and traded.

Amid Center’s first NFT tool is an NFT rendering application programming interface, which allows developers to easily display any graphical NFT from any blockchain in a single line of code. The goal was to make it as simple as using an HTML tag in a web page.

Now, Center is creating an index of NFTs in the same way that search engines index the web. To date, the company has indexed over 135 million NFTs. The objective is to allow developers to quickly and easily provide search capability for NFTs across multiple blockchains using metadata for the discovery of NFTs and embed the results within their apps.

“Our embedded NFT search API lets you embed freeform text search using the same search engine we’ve built that powers,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’ve already indexed over 120 million NFTs, trail most chains by a fraction of a block, and strive to deliver world-class search experiences that take you less than five minutes to build.”

Currently, Center supports more than 10 different blockchains for the search capability and switching between them is as simple as changing a configuration option. The chains that Center supports include Ethereum, Polygon, Fantom, Avalanche, BSC, Solana, Optimism, Harmony, Starknet, Arbitrum and Celo. The company said that if it’s a blockchain or a layer 2 scaling solution, it is on the roadmap for addition.

Center’s tooling is already being put to use by crypto and blockchain companies such as decentralized crypto infrastructure provider 0x Labs and NFT lending platform Astaria.

“We had tried out every other NFT API on the market, and Center was the only option that could scale up to reliably fit our needs,” John Johnson, chief technology officer of 0x. “Center helped us get new products to market months faster and has turned a multi-month engineering effort into a few lines of code.”

NFTs enjoyed a rapid rise in market values in 2021, which led to $41 billion in trading volume. However, markets lost 23% of their market value mid-June during what was dubbed “crypto winter” when overall markets suffered a decline more broadly.

As a result, Center is not the only NFT search engine to enter the market. Another example includes Numbers Protocol, which describes itself as a Web3 search engine – or a search engine for the “semantic web” – claiming to be the first for NFTs. NFT LAB, which also claimed to be the world’s first NFT search engine. HUMBL also announced Search 3, a search engine capable of NFT discovery cross-chain.

Image: Nepool/Shutterstock

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