Ethereum restaking protocol EigenLayer has closed its $50 million Series A fundraising round. The Block first reported in February that EigenLabs, the team behind EigenLayer, was seeking to raise $50 million at a $250 million post-equity valuation and a $500 million token valuation.
The round is led by Blockchain Capital and sees participation from other investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Hack VC and Electric Capital, the company said in a release. The valuation terms were not disclosed.
The yet-to-launch restaking protocol previously raised $14.5 million in a seed round led by Polychain Capital and Ethereal Ventures. The startup was founded in 2021 by Sreeram Kannan, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. It enables users to restake their ether (ETH) and innovate at the consensus layer without needing to launch a whole new blockchain, the company said.
"We started working on EigenLayer in the hopes of creating a new model, in which developers can easily consume trust, instead of needing to build trust, and design powerful systems of assurances that make the crypto ecosystem safer and more useful," said Kannan in the release.
What is restaking?
Restaking enables individuals to use their already-staked ether to secure other protocols. EigenLabs plans to launch the initial version of the protocol in phases throughout the rest of this year, the company said.
EigenLayer is currently at the forefront of thinking about staking and restaking to increase the security of decentralized services, said The Block Research's director of data Simon Cousaert as part of his 2023 predictions.
"EigenLayer’s core innovation of restaking is a game changer for bootstrapping new cryptoeconomic networks," said Bart Stephens, founder and managing partner at Blockchain Capital, in the release. "By lowering the cost of trust and capital, it opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs to experiment and build while significantly easing the financial barriers that have hindered innovation in the past."
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