Ex-Meta crypto chief David Marcus launches Bitcoin payments startup backed by a16z and Paradigm
After his departure from Facebook in November, many crypto industry insiders speculated where long-time executive David Marcus would land. Today, the former Messenger boss and Paypal executive offered some early details on his next company Lightspark, which will be building on Bitcoin's Lightning network.
Marcus will serve as CEO with a number of ex-Meta crypto team members serving in executive positions.
Details are scant on what exactly the startup is doing. A short press release notes that the startup is aiming "to explore, build and extend the capabilities and utility of Bitcoin." Bitcoin's lightning network allows for cheaper and faster transactions than the base level network allows, making it a more ideal platform to leverage for payments and decentralized apps.
The firm did not disclose funding amounts oddly but is sharing that their first round is co-led by a16z Crypto and Paradigm with participation from Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners and Zeev Ventures.
The timing for the reveal could have been better as Bitcoin and the broader crypto market have sustained massive losses in recent days. A prolonged crypto bear market could mean reduced investor interest and a smaller potential hiring pool.