A16z injects $100M into EigenLayer

The Series B round is double what the firm raised a year ago

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Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital firm, has declared a substantial $100 million investment in Series B funding for Eigen Labs.

This investment supports Eigen Labs’ development studio, which is responsible for creating EigenLayer, a startup focused on Ethereum restaking. 

The raise, which the companies announced Thursday morning, follows the $50 million in Series A funding Eigen Labs raised roughly a year ago.

EigenLayer enables staked ETH, which represents validators’ commitment to the network’s security, to be “restaked” for securing additional decentralized applications and services within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Read more: Blast from the past: 3 years on from the launch of ETH staking

Traditionally, staking involves validators locking up ETH as a security deposit to participate in the network’s consensus mechanism, receiving rewards in return for their contribution to network security and transaction validation. However, once ETH is staked, it is typically immobilized until withdrawn, limiting validators’ ability to utilize these assets elsewhere.

EigenLayer seeks to address this by enabling staked ETH to be restaked across a variety of decentralized applications and services without removing it from the initial consensus mechanism. This not only amplifies the utility of staked ETH but also diversifies the revenue streams available to validators.

The protocol is still in a phased rollout. In the future, EigenLayer will support actively validated services (AVS) where users can delegate restaked tokens to secure other networks. The first AVS to hit mainnet will be EigenDA, a service developed in-house by Eigen Labs that offers data availability — a means of accessing blockchain data more efficiently — for Ethereum rollups.

Read more: Why data availability sampling matters for blockchain scaling

At the moment, users can lock up liquid staking tokens like Lido’s stETH and earn “staking points” — currently valueless IOUs that users hope will become redeemable for tokens down the line. 

These points are still sought after as users bet on EigenLayer becoming a major piece of the Ethereum ecosystem. Online points market Whales Market shows investors have traded over $1.6 million-worth of EigenLayer points at an average price of $0.14. 

The total value locked (TVL) on the protocol has nearly quadrupled this month — to a tick under $8 billion — after it temporarily removed a cap on deposits. 

Read more: EigenLayer TVL close to $6 billion after temporary cap removal

EigenLayer also caught the eye of a16z crypto, who has now invested nine figures in the company as its sole Series B investor. 

“It’s exceedingly rare to come across a founder with a vision and plan that has the potential to change everything,” wrote a16z General Partner Ali Yahya in a blog post announcing the investment.

A16z has plowed billions into crypto startups, notably buying an early stake in Coinbase. EigenLayer stressed the VC firm’s crypto bona fides while announcing the raise.

“[A]16z is extremely long-term. They first published perspectives on Bitcoin and Coinbase as early as 2013. In the decade since they’ve continued to support the industry in important ways, including advocating for a positive technological future with policymakers and regulators,” EigenLayer wrote on X.


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