Renzo Capitalizes on Restaking Frenzy to Raise $17M From Galaxy, Brevan Howard

Funds will be used towards expanding the project's restaking services, including adding support for ERC-20 tokens.

AccessTimeIconJun 18, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 18, 2024 at 1:51 p.m. UTC

Liquid restaking protocol Renzo shared Tuesday that it has raised $17 million in a funding round, according to a press release shared exclusively with CoinDesk.

The fresh capital, which took place over two rounds, was led by Galaxy Ventures in the first round and by Brevan Howard Digital Nova Fund in the second. Funds will be used towards expanding the project's restaking services, including adding support for ERC-20 tokens.

Renzo is part of a new class of “restaking” protocols built on EigenLayer, which takes users' ether (ETH) tokens, deposited or "staked" as security on the Ethereum blockchain, and then repurposes them to secure additional networks, known as “actively validated services,” or AVSs.

Renzo, which describes itself as a "liquid derivative platform built on EigenLayer," serving as the interface to the EigenLayer ecosystem by securing AVSs and offering a higher yield than ETH, according the project's documentation. "For every liquid staking token or ETH deposited on Renzo, it mints an equivalent amount of Renzo’s liquid restaking token, ezETH, in return," the documentation reads.

The latest trend in restaking is that users can now stake their ERC-20 tokens too, which are tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain. EigenLayer previously shared that they would start accepting their EIGEN token, which is an ERC-20, to secure its in-house AVS, EigenDA.

Restaking competitor Symbiotic also shared that it would accept Ethena Labs’ $ENA and $USDe, which are ERC-20 tokens.

Lucas Kozinski, founding contributor of Renzo, said in an interview over Telegram that this is part of a wider trend, and that restaking is also starting to peep into the Bitcoin ecosystem and non-EVM chains.

“EigenLayer pioneered native ETH restaking, which is now expanding into other assets including $EIGEN to secure EigenDA," Kozinski told CoinDesk. "The use of ERC-20s for restaking is opening the door for other liquid restaking tokens to join alongside $ezETH.”

The fundraising announcement comes two months after Renzo released an airdrop for its $REZ token, in which 9.5% was distributed to its community. The whole communication allocation is 32%.

CORRECTION (13:49 UTC): Corrects founding contributor's surname on second reference and clarifies that Renzo is not an AVS but an interface to the EigenLayer ecosystem by securing AVSs.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.

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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.