- Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup led by a group of former Diem developers, has raised $150 million in a Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.
- The raise boosts the capital Aptos received this year to $350 million and reportedly brings the firm’s valuation to $2 billion.
- The wider crypto community has raised questions about the project’s advertised features and the amount raised.
Former Meta employees have raised $150 million in hopes of realizing Diem’s original goals. Aptos Labs announced on Monday that it has raised $150 million in a Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, bringing its 2022 total fundraising to $350 million. A host of leading venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, Multicoin Capital and Circle Ventures, also participated in the latest round. According to an introductory blog post published in February, Aptos aims to be “the most secure and scalable Tier 1 blockchain” in the world.
It is designed and led by former Meta employees who worked on Diem (formerly known as Libra), Meta’s doomed blockchain-based stablecoin payment system. Aptos looks forward to building on and improving Dim’s work with the same group of renowned scientists and researchers. “Aptos was designed with a focus on absolute security, extensible scalability, and trusted neutrality—values we know firsthand and intuitively understand,” the February post reads.
This provided little information on how the project would achieve decentralization or solve the so-called “blockchain trilemma.” Commenting on the increase in a press release, Aptos Labs co-founder and CEO Mo Sheikh said that Aptos optimizes scalability, security, and ease of use. “We have known for a long time that due to problems such as failures and downtime, current blockchains are not suitable for mass adoption of Web3,” he said.
Several similar Tier 1 blockchains touting high transaction throughput, including Solana and Polygon, have suffered major network outages over the past year, necessitating the coordination of validators to restart and bring the networks back online. Aptos now says it is building a “next-generation layer 1” that will supposedly get around these issues, but the crypto community is not convinced.
For example, Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer. asked his Twitter followers what Aptos could do that Solana couldn’t. Popular independent Ethereum educator Anthony Sassano responded with a dig at Solana-linked venture capital firm Multicoin Capital, saying it “gives Multicoin another chance to dump retail.” Some well-known crypto personalities have also raised concerns about the amount raised by the project. Evgeny Gaevoy, founder and CEO of crypto market maker firm Wintermute, asked how many millions would be needed to launch the blockchain shortly after the announcement, to which established crypto trader and Just Up podcast co-host Kobe ironically responded “as much as you can get.”
The latest $150 million raise likely doubled Aptos Labs’ March valuation of over $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, in 18.4, the leading smart contract blockchain, Ethereum, raised about $18.4 million in 2014. According to the press release, Aptos will use the new capital to support the development of the project and create a blockchain that will support the “next billion users.”