Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Ethereum restaking startup EigenLayer raises $100M from a16z

Feb 22, 2024
Illustration of a pattern of check marks in connected cubes.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

EigenLayer, which has created an Ethereum restaking protocol, raised $100 million in new funding from Andreessen Horowitz.

Why it matters: The protocol offers a kind of Security as a Service, enabling crypto developers to plug into Ethereum's trust network and ensure their operations using derivative assets.

Context: In 2022, Ethereum pivoted to a model where security was based on professional validators checking the validity of transactions on its blockchain.

  • To ensure that those validators didn't cheat, screw up or neglect their duties, they are required to post assets as insurance of their work, creating a vast network of people and companies to check transactions 24/7.
  • EigenLayer emerged as a marketplace that invites other applications to rent that security infrastructure and offers code that makes it easier, describing its function as "borrowing programmable trust" from the Ethereum trust network.

State of play: The concept has quickly taken off, with digital asset investors staking nearly $8 billion in deposits into the protocol.

Of note: Andreessen Horowitz was the sole investor in the most recent funding round.

  • Last March, EigenLayer raised $50 million in a funding round led by Blockchain Capital, with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Hack VC and Electric Capital.

Go deeper: EigenLayer's security-as-a-service

Go deeper