Aptos Revealed as PayPal Ventures’ First Layer 1 Investment

Aptos Labs announced a $200 million funding round in March and has now revealed that the venture arm of the payments giant was among the backers.

AccessTimeIconMay 31, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:55 p.m. UTC

Aptos Labs, a team that's bringing Facebook’s star-crossed Diem blockchain to life, told CoinDesk that PayPal Ventures was one of the investors in a $200 million funding round confirmed in March. The investment was PayPal Ventures’ first in a base layer project.

“We believe in the work that the Aptos Labs team is doing to build a safe and scalable layer 1 blockchain,” PayPal Ventures investment partner Amman Bhasin said in a statement. “With the promise of improved reliability and security, faster transactions and lower fees, the Aptos blockchain is designed in a way that makes it both conducive to building new rails and compelling to corporate clients and crypto-native developers.”

Notably, PayPal (PYPL) was involved in the initial launch of Libra in June 2019, inking a non-binding commitment to become a member of the Libra Consortium. The company was one of many to pull out of the project later that year.

The Aptos funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from Multicoin Capital, a16z alum Katie Haun, Three Arrows Capital, ParaFi Capital and Coinbase Ventures, among others. PayPal Ventures’ participation wasn’t revealed in the initial announcement.

The Aptos team is made up of the original creators, researchers, designers and builders of the Diem (formerly Libra) blockchain. Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) announced the blockchain as the backbone of a stablecoin project in 2019 but the project never made it out of the gate because of regulatory hurdles.

Earlier this year, Meta confirmed the shutdown of Diem and sold the technology and other assets to Silvergate Bank. However, much of the work done by Diem-affiliated teams was placed under open-source licenses, meaning the intellectual property is fair game. Aptos is led by Avery Ching and Mo Shaikh. Ching co-created the Diem blockchain’s DiemBFT consensus protocol, which Aptos is using.

Aptos’ developer testnet launched two months ago. The firm expects to release the mainnet during the third quarter.


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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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