Meta’s Diem Staffers Spin Off to Create Blockchain Startup Aptos, Raise $200M

The Aptos blockchain, which is referred to as a Layer 1 system, will be built on its own decentralized network.

Written by Jeremy Porr
Published on Mar. 16, 2022
Meta’s Diem Staffers Spin Off to Create Blockchain Startup Aptos, Raise $200M
The Aptos blockchain, which it is referring to as a Layer 1 system, will be built on its own decentralized network.
Image: Built In

Meta has its hand in just about everything these days. The parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and WhatsApp is always on the hunt for the next big thing. The company even had a hand in crypto when it launched its Diem blockchain in 2019. Unfortunately, Diem faced a few regulatory roadblocks that eventually got in the way of its success. At the top of this year, the company was acquired by Silvergate Capital Corp.  

At around the same time, some of Diem’s developers broke away to start their own crypto venture, this time, with a different mission.

Aptos intends to bring equity to the decentralized finance space. Now, the company is receiving a massive investment to support its growth efforts. Aptos announced Tuesday that it raised $200 million in a round led by VC giant Andreessen Horowitz. 

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Aptos is building its own blockchain based on what its employees learned while working at Diem. The Aptos blockchain, which is referred to as a Layer 1 system, won’t sit on top of existing blockchains like Ethereum or Solana. Instead, the company plans to build out its own decentralized network. 

Why stray from the norm? Well, the Web3 industry is mired in accessibility problems, according to co-founder and CEO of Aptos Mo Shaikh. 

“The decentralization movement struggles to reach escape velocity because reliability, safety and usability can not be taken for granted,” Shaikh said in a statement. “Collectively, these problems hold back adoption, from the average individual to the largest enterprises in the world.”

Aptos has already partnered with a number of Web3 giants, including cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance, for feedback on its work. The open source codebase featuring the blockchain’s tech specs is already live. 

“You don’t need to be a big brand or company to build on Aptos: it’s open infrastructure for the world,” Shaikh continued.

The company will use the latest raise to further its product development and expand the size of its team. Aptos is now hiring for 13 open tech roles. Available positions span the company’s engineering, marketing and product teams, to name a few.

Additional investors Multicoin Capital, Tiger Global, FTX Ventures and Coinbase Ventures participated in the raise, among others.

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