Startup From Ex-Meta Devs Seek $2B Valuation: Report

Web3 infrastructure-focused Mysten Labs is looking to raise $200 million in a Series B round led by FTX Ventures


From left: Mysten Labs’ Sam Blackshear, Evan Cheng, Adeniyi Abiodun | Source: Mysten Labs


key takeaways

  • The $2 billion target valuation is said to be much higher than Mysten’s Series A round, according to The Information
  • But that level could change if equity investors get additional rights

Mysten Labs, a startup focused on Web3 and blockchain infrastructure, is reportedly in talks to raise a Series B round at a $2 billion valuation.

The Information reported on Monday that the startup is currently in discussions to raise at least $200 million in the round led by FTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. It’s already said to have raised $140 million by investors so far.

Mysten’s $2 billion target valuation is much higher than its previous round, two people familiar with the matter told the outlet. This is noteworthy given that some companies have recently been grappling with layoffs, down rounds and uncertainty. 

But that target could reportedly change depending on whether equity investors secure added rights to buy tokens compatible with Mysten’s blockchains, and the strike price to exercise those options.

The startup raised $36 million in a Series A fundraising round led by Andreesen Horowitz in December, according to a blog posted by the firm, but the valuation of that round isn’t clear. Other backers include Lightspeed, Coinbase Ventures, Electric Capital, Standard Crypto, NFX and Slow Ventures.

Founded in 2021, Mysten is focused on building blockchain infrastructure to enable decentralized applications, including crypto gaming. Its co-founders — Evan Chang, Sam Blackshear, Adeniyi Abiodun and George Danezis — are former employees at Novi Research, Meta’s cryptocurrency research and development team, where they helped develop the Diem stablecoin

Blockworks reported in February that the one-time Big Tech personnel felt restricted at their previous employer and wanted the liberty to exercise their own vision.

Mysten didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time.

Investor anxiety within the crypto industry has ballooned as a result of plunging asset prices and the recent insolvencies of Three Arrows Capital and Voyager Digital. Despite this outward backdrop of fear, money is still pouring into blockchain-based companies as investors seek out opportunities to capitalize on the sector-wide downturn. 

If Mysten were to reach its fundraising goal this time around, it would suggest firm belief in not just the startup’s potential, but a turnaround for the overall crypto industry.

“In today’s bear market, you’re seeing some of the worst-case scenarios,” Daniel Tal, project lead at ICHI, told Blockworks in an interview. “From a positive side, this is the best time to build.”

“The bear market exposes these holes that we have in some of our protocols. And now we see different kinds of communities building to cover those holes and create protocols that are much more resilient,” he added.

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