Paris-based startup Kiln, a firm that helps users receive rewards for securing the Ethereum blockchain, today said that it has raised 17 million euros ($17.7 million) in new funding to expand its infrastructure and capabilities for new enterprise customers.
Kiln provides a service known as “staking” for blockchains, which is where the holders of cryptocurrency tokens lock them up to show that they have a stake in the security of a blockchain. By locking up their tokens, they join others in validating transactions on the blockchain, which protects the network from potential attack. In order to encourage people to stake their tokens, and become validators, users receive a reward based on how many tokens they locked up.
A recent change in Ethereum blockchain, which underlies the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, known as “the Merge” shifted its entire structure to “proof of stake,” which has led institutional and enterprise businesses to show interest in cryptocurrency staking. The move also significantly lowered the risk of staking tokens. As a result, Kiln believes, there will be a significant shift toward enterprise validators entering the industry.
“At Kiln, we believe it is critical to provide enterprise-grade infrastructure to institutional users, that in turn enables our customers to create new opportunities for their users,” said Laszlo Szabo, co-founder and chief executive of Kiln.
The Series A round was led by Illuminate Financial with participation from crypto industry investors including Consensys, GSR, Kraken Ventures, Leadblock Partners, Sparkle Ventures and XBTO. Existing investors 3KVC, Blue Yard Capital, SV Angel and Alven, among others, also joined the round.
Kiln launched its first validators two years ago and currently has over $500 million assets under management. The company already provides a full-range of products dedicated to staking and all of its technologies are based on infrastructure that are validator agnostic for staking stacks for customers.
Examples include Kiln Connect, which is a software development kit to integrate staking, rewards data and custody for all major staking blockchains (including Ethereum now). Kiln On-Chain which is specifically designed for Ethereum smart contract staking and automated rewards management. The Kiln Dashboard, which provides reporting, 1-click management and more. Finally, the company offers validator nodes deployed in Kubernetes enterprise-grade multi-cloud infrastructure for customers to run their own operations.
“Staking is going to be one of the core fabrics of the entire crypto industry,” said Ciaran O’Leary, co-founder and general partner of BlueYard Capital. “Kiln’s robust, scalable and safe solutions provide an important fabric for large pools of capital to participate in the core functioning of crypto networks and to generate novel forms of yield.”
Kiln’s technology currently allows customers to launch validators for and provide staking services on more than 10 different blockchains, including Ethereum, Aptos, Fantom, Tezos and Solana.
Szabo said that the new funding would help Kiln expand its already broad set of staking products and consolidate them for enterprise and institutional partners. It would also allow the company to expand its product suite to catch the coming wave of interest in staking with the change with the Ethereum Merge update – for example, a change to Kiln On-Chain will soon allow stalking any amount of Ethereum.
The company also intends to use the new funds to hire more people so Kiln can support its goals globally.