Former Meta Employees Secure Funding for Aptos Labs Amid Web3 Startup Surge

Updated by Kyle Baird
In Brief
  • Aptos Labs has raised $150 million in fresh capital as of July 25.
  • The funding round was led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.
  • The news comes on the back of the falling VC interest in crypto.
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According to a business announcement made on July 25, Aptos Labs, a web3 startup that sprang from the ashes of Meta Platforms Inc.’s failed cryptocurrency endeavors, has raised $150 million in fresh capital.

The funding round was led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, with additional investments from Apollo, Griffin Gaming Partners, Franklin Templeton, Circle Ventures, Superscrypt founded by Temasek, and continued backing from a16z and Multicoin.

Aptos aims to upgrade its offerings

The release stated, “This funding comes at a critical time in our industry. At Aptos, we are taking this as an opportunity to build the reliable foundation web3 has been waiting for.”

Former Meta workers Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching co-founded Aptos back in 2021. It was after the failure of the social media giant’s cryptocurrency project Diem, on the back of stiff opposition from regulators, that it was later sold.

Now, the company aims to significantly improve web3’s usability and socializing while collaborating with its strategic partners to determine the demands of the market, the release noted.

“We are developing upgradable, cutting-edge blockchain innovations that will dramatically improve the web3 experience for developers, brands, and users,” Ching said in a statement to Bloomberg.

According to Crunchbase, Aptos has raised a total of $350 million in funding over two rounds. According to Bloomberg, after raising $200 million in its last round, the latest injection has doubled the startup’s previous valuation, which was over $1 billion in March.

However, the current valuation of the unicorn is undisclosed.

Funding at a time of reduced VC interest

According to reports, Mysten Labs, a second business established by former Meta employees, is also currently raising new funds while developing a blockchain that uses the Move programming language. The unicorn noted, “Many of the creators, maintainers, and brilliant minds behind the Move language and Move Prover are part of our team, and continue to enhance the language, tools, and resources that will bring the simplicity and security of Move to everyone.”

Interestingly, investors in both Aptos and Mysten include Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

That said, the investment news also comes on the back of the falling interest of venture capitalists in cryptocurrencies amid the market downturn. TechCrunch noted the statement of David Nage, venture capital portfolio manager at Arca, that valuations in the crypto sector have decreased as a result of the lengthier time it has taken to close crypto VC deals.

“There’s been this kind of viral dialogue that sometime around September, valuations are gonna come down even more significantly and it’s just gonna be a frenzy,” Nage said.

Meanwhile, media reports have also confirmed that Coinbase Ventures’ deal speed slowed down in the second quarter, with the overall number of deals falling by 34%, after experiencing a record interest in Q1 2022.

That said, Aptos commented that it is excited ‘by the strategic support of this round across key verticals like gaming, social networks, media and entertainment along with Finance.’

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