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

article-image

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

share

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.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Avail.jpg

Research

Data publishing costs have historically been a bottleneck for rollups, and as more rollups launch, interoperability will continue to be a major challenge. Avail presents a potential solution to rollup fragmentation through its three products: Avail DA, Nexus, and Fusion, which together aim to unify the web3 experience.

article-image

The Bitcoin halving is a spectacle that only comes round once every four years

article-image

The SEC alleges that Justin Sun spent nearly 400 days in the US from 2017 to 2019

article-image

Short-term “sell the news” reactions could follow new BTC price peaks months from now, industry watchers say — but only if history repeats itself

article-image

While crypto fundraising remains well off its bull market highs, Q1 data shows capital is returning to the space

article-image

Billed as a better BRC-20 fungible token standard, Bitcoin Runes launches tomorrow

article-image

Bitcoin miners need to explore unconventional energy avenues or be buried by the financial realities created by this halving