Aptos Labs Raises $150m Co-Led by FTX Ventures & Jump Crypto

Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup, announced Monday that it raised $150 million in a Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.

The raise follows a seed round that Aptos conducted in March, bringing the company’s total funding to $350 million.

Other investors, including Apollo, Griffin Gaming Partners, Franklin Templeton, Superscrypt, a16z crypto, and Multicoin, also participated in the Series A funding round.

Aptos disclosed that it plans to use the fresh funding to support further development of its programming language, Move, as well as its blockchain technology. Besides that, the firm said it would use the funds to expand its team further and continue developing ecosystem funds designed to attract developers and grow its community.

Aptos Labs, established by former employees who worked on Meta Platform Inc.’s collapsed payment system Diem, is building a Layer 1 blockchain that uses key technology from the ill-fated Diem project and its smart contract programming language Move. Such technologies were initially developed by the founding members of the Aptos team while at Facebook. Aptos is currently using these technologies as an open-source protocol to build a blockchain technology to rival blockchain ecosystems like Ethereum, the second largest blockchain by market capitalisation.

Mo Shaikh, Aptos co-founder and CEO, talked about the development: “We’ve known for a while that, due to issues like outages and downtime, current blockchains are not fit for purpose when it comes to mass Web3 adoption. That’s why we’re building a blockchain to be the reliable foundation for Web3 that ushers in users from around the world to experience the benefits of decentralisation.”

Aptos aims to develop a reliable and safe smart contract programming language and blockchain network that will offer a superior experience for developers and users to keep their tokens secure.

Based on such commitments, the firm is currently operating several testnets designed to reward developers for building its community ahead of a mainnet launch later this year. The firm recently announced a grant program planned to accelerate project growth in its platform.

Chris Dixon, founder and managing partner of a16z crypto, also commented: “Developers are flocking to Aptos for its speed and scalability, and as an entirely permissionless, open source, and community-governed blockchain, it’s also optimised for the creation of a new class of Web3-native applications.”

In April, Google Cloud became one of Aptos’s inaugural integration partners. The partnership is designed to enable developers to launch a node on the network within 15 minutes and start developing immediately.

Aptos has also partnered with several other firms (such as the NFT platform Rarible, video platform Livepeer, crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase) to test and build projects on the Layer 1 blockchain platform and smart contract programming language Move.

Meta officially shut down its Diem stablecoin project in January following intense scrutiny from financial regulators. In February, Aptos Labs announced plans to bring the Diem blockchain back to life to develop the world’s safest and most efficient blockchain.

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Meta Alumni Owned Layer-1 Protocol Aptos Raises $200m from a16z

Former Meta Platforms Inc staff, led by Mo Shaikh, have raised $200 million in a strategic funding round for its new startup Aptos, a layer-1 blockchain protocol looks to continue the innovative work that was being done of the Libra/Diem project. 


The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from Tiger Global, Katie Haun, Multicoin Capital, 3 Arrows Capital, FTX Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures, among others. It is worthy of note to mention that Aptos is also backed by Silvergate Capital, the leading bank for innovative businesses in fintech and cryptocurrency known to acquire the Diem project from the Libra Association earlier this year.

While the Aptos team is notably building the protocol based on the Open Source provisions of the Diem blockchain, none of the Diem IP addresses now being controlled by Silvergate Bank will be used as promised. 

“We are the original creators, researchers, designers, and builders of Diem, the blockchain that was first built to serve this purpose. While the world never got to see what we built, our work is far from over,” Aptos CEO Mo Shaikh wrote in a blog post last month.

The funding news was accompanied by the launch of the blockchain’s Devnet, which will allow developers to test out the capabilities of the new protocol. While its work has not yet gone mainstream, the Aptos core developers said companies like “Anchorage, Binance, Coinbase, Livepeer, Moonclave, Paxos, Paymagic, Rarible, and Streaming Fast, are already engaging with the startup, providing feedback and contributing codes on devnet,” according to the TechCrunch report. 

Billed to compete with the likes of Ethereum and Solana for most of the innovative products it is heralding, the core goal that investors use to identify with Aptos is likely hinged on its plans to build a protocol that will model the scalability and widespread nature of the rebranded Facebook-backed Diem payments network.

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Jack Dorsey: Diem was a waste of time, Meta should’ve focused on BTC

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that Meta’s failed cryptocurrency project Diem was “wasted effort and time,” and it should have focused its efforts on “making Bitcoin more accessible for everyone.”

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor interviewed Dorsey on Tuesday at his company’s “Bitcoin for Corporations 2022” conference about how corporations could integrate and use Bitcoin (BTC).

Dorsey said that although Facebook probably started Diem for “the right reasons,” it should’ve used an open-ended protocol like Bitcoin rather than attempting to create its own currency.

“This whole thing with Libra and then Diem, I think there’s a ton of lessons there,” Dorsey told Saylor. “Hopefully they learned a lot, but I think there was a lot of wasted effort and time.”

His criticism of Twitter’s more popular and successful social media counterpart should perhaps come as no surprise. Since stepping down from his role as Twitter CEO in Nov last year, Dorsey has since made is clear that he plans to make Bitcoin the focus of his new company, Block (formerly known as Square.) Block allows users to purchase Bitcoin through mobile payments service, Cash App.

“Those two or three years or however long it’s been could’ve been spent making Bitcoin more accessible for more people around the world.”

Dorsey added that making BTC more accessible would also benefit many of Meta’s products, specifically referring to Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

“We have this open network right now. And it’s usable. It’s not accessible to everyone, but it’s usable. The easier we make it, the faster we make it, the more approachable we make it, it’s going to better everything. Including everything Facebook intended to do with Libra.”

In 2019, Facebook (now branded as Meta Platforms) released the white paper for Libra, its long-awaited crypto-based financial infrastructure project today. However, following a slew of regulatory hurdles and bad PR that forced the project to rebrand to Diem in Dec 2020, it ultimately came to an untimely end.

Related: Zuckerberg’s Diem reportedly weighing sale after stablecoin plans falter

Meta officially announced it would be selling Diem’s intellectual property and other assets to Silvergate Capital Corporation on Jan 31 2022 for the aggregate value of $182 million, officially handing over the ropes yesterday on Feb 1.

On Jan 12, a Cash App upgrade integrated the Bitcoin Lightning Network, allowing faster and cheaper BTC transfers using the layer-two (L2) payments protocol.