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

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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,” wrote a16z General Partner Arianna Simpson in an announcement post.

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’s current projects split into partnering with existing networks to integrate Mysten technology and the creation of open protocols based on Mysten-designed components. The scalability-focused protocol Narwhal, for example, is in development to deploy on Celo and Sommelier. 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,” tweeted Cheng.

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. General Partner Chris Dixon is a vocal supporter of Web 3 projects.

DISCLOSURE

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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