Layer 1 Blockchain Aptos Raises $150M From FTX, Jump Crypto
- Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup led by ex-Diem developers, has raised $150 million dollars in a Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.
- The latest round takes the capital Aptos has raised this year to $350 million and reportedly doubles the startup’s $1 billion valuation in March.
- The broader crypto community seems to have met today’s announcement with skepticism, raising questions about the project’s touted capabilities and the amount raised.
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The Series A funding round has brought Aptos Labs’ total capital raised in 2022 to $350 million.
Aptos Closes $150 Million Funding Round
Former Meta employees have raised $150 million in hopes of bringing Diem’s original objectives to fruition.
Aptos Labs announced Monday that it had raised $150 million in a Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, bringing its total funds raised in 2022 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 “safest and most scalable Layer 1 blockchain” in the world. It’s developed and led by ex-Meta staffers that worked on Diem (formerly known as Libra), Meta’s doomed permissioned blockchain-based stablecoin payment system. Aptos is hoping to build and improve upon Diem’s work with the same group of renowned scientists and researchers.
“Aptos was designed with an emphasis on absolute safety, extensible scalability, and credible neutrality—values that we know firsthand and viscerally understand,” the February post reads. It offered little insight into how the project will achieve decentralization or tackle the so-called “blockchain trilemma.” Commenting on the raise in a press release, Aptos Labs co-founder and CEO Mo Shaikh said that Aptos optimizes for scalability, safety, and ease of use. “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,” he said.
Several similar Layer 1 blockchains touting high transaction throughputs, including Solana, Celo, and Polygon, have suffered from major network outages over the last year, requiring validator coordination to restart and bring the networks back online. Aptos now claims it’s building a “next-generation Layer 1” that would presumably circumvent these issues—but the crypto community is not convinced.
For example, Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer asked his Twitter followers what Aptos can do that Solana doesn’t. The popular independent Ethereum educator Anthony Sassano replied with a dig at the Solana-involved venture capital firm Multicoin Capital, saying it “gives Multicoin another chance to dump on retail.” Some high-profile crypto personalities also raised concern over the amount the project had raised. Evgeny Gaevoy, the founder and CEO of the crypto market-making firm Wintermute, asked how many millions it takes to launch a blockchain, to which the recognized crypto personality and UpOnly podcast co-host Cobie ironically answered “as much as you can get.”
According to Bloomberg, the last $150 million raise likely doubled Aptos Labs’ March valuation of over $1 billion. In comparison, the leading smart contract blockchain, Ethereum, raised closer to $18.4 million in 2014.
Per the press release, Aptos will use the fresh capital to support the project’s development and build a blockchain that would onboard “the next billion users.”
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.