EigenLayer, an Ethereum restaking protocol that is yet to launch, is raising $50 million in a Series A funding round, two sources with knowledge of the matter told The Block.
The round looks set to give EigenLayer a $250 million post-money equity valuation and a $500 million token valuation or fully diluted valuation (FDV), the sources said. FDV refers to the total value of a project assuming all of its tokens are in circulation.
The fundraising process began prior to November's collapse of crypto exchange FTX and is expected to be finalized soon, according to three separate sources. EigenLayer didn't respond to a request for comment.
EigenLayer was founded in 2021 by Sreeram Kannan, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he runs the information theory lab focusing on information theory and its applications in communication networks, machine learning and blockchain systems.
EigenLayer is built on Ethereum and enables users to restake their ether (ETH) and extend crypto security to additional applications on the network, such as rollups, bridges and oracles. A pitch deck prepared by EigenLayer and obtained by The Block states that the startup's technology "enables stakers to opt-in to subject their ETH to additional slashing risk for securing Ethereum ecosystem services."
Restaking has some similarities with so-called liquid staking. But while liquid staking gives an investor a token representing their staked ether, restaking allows them to use their staked ether for securing other protocols.
Restaking also opens up additional reward opportunities for ether stakers. "By opting in to a restaking contract, users effectively earn passive rewards on their extended capital," ConsenSys explained in a recent blog post on EigenLayer. "Moreover, the same capital investment that is otherwise locked on ETH with a single revenue stream can now be rehypothecated to additional protocols, each with their own system of rewards."
The Series A round, once completed, will bring EigenLayer's total funding to around $65 million. The project has previously raised $14.4 million in funding from investors including Figment Capital, according to data from PitchBook.
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