- First Stage Labs transforms to align with its mission and TON Foundation, merging with Wallet in Telegram.
- TOP aims to democratize Web3, simplify blockchain services, and drive global crypto adoption with Wallet.
- Former VK.com CEO, now leading TOP and Wallet, anticipates the synergy of blockchain and Telegram to boost Web3 growth
First Stage Labs Today is rebranding itself as The Open Platform (TOP). This move aligns with the name and mission of the company and those of its blockchain partner, TON Foundation. The company aims to restructure itself as part of the rebrand. This step will include merging with the team behind Wallet, a crypto application that has been seamlessly integrated into Telegram messenger.
The Rebranding for TOP
The Open Platform aims to put Web3 into the pockets of people all over the world while fostering genuine ownership. The company aims to create new economics through massive distribution and radical simplification of blockchain services. With Wallet by its side, this vision will eventually become a reality.
While Wallet was initially introduced as a bot within Telegram, it has evolved into a comprehensive app and platform that enables people to manage their digital assets as seamlessly as sending a message. The team behind Wallet has been working tirelessly over the recent months to accelerate the launch of exciting new products, and with this update, the innovation continues.
In July, a service for merchants in Telegram was launched, which was followed by an invite-only developer beta that was launched in August for the upcoming self-custodial wallet product, TON Space. Since its announcement, more than 1000 developers have joined the beta, with a public release expected this month.
The CEO of TOP and Wallet, Andre Rogozov, said,
“Today, with a clear vision, a strong team, established partnerships, and secured resources, we are ready to bring Wallet and the entire TON ecosystem to the world. We anticipate that Wallet will propel global crypto adoption to an unprecedented level. The Open Platform is well funded, with First Stage Labs having secured significant investment upon its creation from our partners. Together, we share the conviction that the synergy of The Open Network’s blockchain and the Telegram Messenger will serve as an unparalleled catalyst for the next phase of the Web3 ecosystem’s growth.”
TOP Labs, the venture-building arm of The Open Platform, maintains the strategy of its predecessor, First Stage Labs. The current portfolio comprises TON-based startups like Tonkeeper, Open Builders, and Getgems NFT marketplace. According to Andrey Klebanov, Managing Partner of TOP Labs,
“The rebranding also vividly illustrates our growth approach – fostering an open platform paradigm that creates a flywheel for everyone building on top of our products and utilizing Toncoin as a native asset.”
Andrew Rogozov, CEO of TOP and Wallet companies
Formerly the CEO of VK.com, the largest social network in Eastern Europe, Andrew oversaw the company’s growth from 50 employees to nearly 1,200 during his seven-year tenure from 2014 to 2021. Under his leadership, the company’s revenue increased eightfold, securing a leading position in user engagement within a fiercely competitive market.
In January 2022, Andrew stepped down from VK and became a founding member of the TON Foundation, also establishing First Stage Labs. In 2023, FS Labs merged with Wallet inside Telegram, resulting in the formation of The Open Platform, a newly rebranded and restructured entity.
Andrey Klebanov, Managing Partner, TOP Labs
Andrey Klebanov boasts more than ten years of expertise in investment and venture development. A Techstars graduate and an OnDeck fellow, he is deeply committed to nurturing the emergence of Web3 projects. In his former role as Managing Partner at First Stage Labs, Andrey played a pivotal role in orchestrating multi-million dollar transactions for various ventures spanning diverse industries. His passion lies in both launching and seeing projects through to their successful fruition, as demonstrated by his track record in driving success for Web3 startups.