Mysten Labs, a crypto infrastructure tech startup founded by Ex-Facebook crypto engineers, raises $36 million led by Andreessen Horowitz
Facebook continues to face an exodus of top engineers after former employee and whistleblower Haugen said Mark Zuckerberg should step down as CEO rather than rebranding to Meta. The latest example is four former Facebook engineers who left the social giant to start their own tech startup company.
Mysten Labs is a crypto and blockchain infrastructure technology startup founded this year by four former Facebook engineers Evan Cheng (CEO), Sam Blackshear, and Adeniyi Abiodun, and George Danezis. The four engineers spearheaded the blockchain architecture of Facebook’s crypto-payments platform Diem and its respective mobile wallet called Novi. Mysten Labs creates foundational infrastructure to accelerate web3 adoption.
Just two months ago, Mysten Labs partnered with Sommelier, a co-processing protocol to the Ethereum Virtual Machine to increase liquidity transaction speeds and launch smart contract applications on the Cosmos blockchain. Mysten Labs has also received the attention of Silicon Valley investors looking for the next crypto winner.
Today, Mysten Labs Cheng told CNBC in an interview said that the startup has just raised $36 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley heavyweight Andreessen Horowitz. The fresh capital infusion will help Mysten Labs build infrastructure technology to allow other crypto and blockchain-based companies to deliver technologies, Cheng said.
“We’ve been dreaming about doing something together for a long time,” Cheng told CNBC. “We’re building infrastructure that, based on our previous research, will overcome a lot of limitations.”
Unlike other crypto startups generating revenue from products and services, Mysten Labs said it plans to hold tokens for the various blockchains that it’s working with, and hopes to profit as their value grows.
“We’re not building a service where we charge other people money for them to use this,” Cheng said. “Our partners get the benefit of having access to the technology, and we become co-owners in their network. We take back a portion of the network shares in return. So it’s a mutually beneficial kind of relationship.”
Mysten founders are not the only engineers leaving Facebook. Facebook’s head of Libra crypto and Novi David Marcus announced he was leaving after seven years at Facebook (now called Meta).
Last week, David Marcus, the head of Novi, announced he would be leaving after seven years at the company. Marcus was one of the founders of the Novi digital wallet and the Diem cryptocurrency. Fellow founders Morgan Beller and Kevin Weil left last year.
Two months ago, Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq also left Novi to take top jobs on Andreessen’s crypto team, which is called a16z Crypto.
“They’ve done an amazing job at recruiting top talent over the last few years,” said Arianna Simpson, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, referring to Facebook. “So we’re excited to invest in the best founders, wherever they’re coming from.”