A16z Leads $36M Bet on Web 3 Startup From Facebook Crypto Vets

Web 3 infrastructure company Mysten Labs has raised $36 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The startup was founded by veterans of Facebook’s crypto unit and will soon launch a non-fungible token (NFT) platform.

“There’s significant demand for more efficient and safe smart contract developer tooling, and Mysten has the technology and expertise to make major improvements across multiple chains. Allowing developers to focus on perfecting their user experience, without tackling the complexities of lower-level blockchain integrations, is key to enticing more Web 2 talent to start building Web 3 applications,” Arianna Simpson, a general partner at a16z, wrote in a post announcing the funding.

Mysten was founded by veterans of Novi Research, the crypto research and development division of Facebook, now known as Meta. Mysten CEO Evan Cheng led Novi and helped develop the Diem blockchain and Move programming language.

The startup is working with existing networks to integrate Mysten technology and creating open protocols based on Mysten-designed components. The scalability-focused protocol Narwhal, for example, is in development to deploy on the Celo and Sommelier networks. As noted above, Mysten is also launching a next-generation NFT platform

“The new blockchain is built with a unique design the current ecosystem has not seen. Apart from the massive scalability, it has a new programming model that’s perfectly suited for NFTs. It enables dynamic NFTs which are composable and can change over time – leveling up, new powers,” Cheng tweeted.

A16z has become one of the most noted investors in crypto venture capital. Over the summer, the firm raked in $2.2 billion for its third crypto fund. Chris Dixon, a general partner at the firm, is a vocal supporter of Web 3 projects.

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