In 2023, the crypto industry saw a significant decline in venture capital investments compared to the previous year, with a 68% decrease according to PitchBook. Despite this downturn, crypto companies still managed to raise $9.5 billion, although this figure pales in comparison to the $30 billion raised in 2022.
Among the crypto startups, French company Kiln stands out, having successfully completed a $17 million funding round in December 2023. The round was led by 1kx and included participation from Crypto.com, IOSG, Wintermute Ventures, KXVC, LBank, and some returning investors.
Kiln, though not widely known, specializes in white-label, infrastructure-focused products and is a key technology provider for companies like Ledger, Crypto.com, and Coinbase, particularly for pooled staking services in non-custodial wallets.
Staking, a process of locking crypto assets in a blockchain to secure it and its transactions, is incentivized financially as it offers rewards over time. Kiln’s technology plays a pivotal role in this, especially for proof-of-stake blockchains like Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Avalanche. Ethereum, which transitioned to proof-of-stake in September 2022, is a notable client.
Kiln’s offerings include a suite of smart contracts that simplify the staking process. Through these contracts, users can easily join Kiln’s staking pools and begin earning rewards. The company also benefits from commissions, processed automatically by the smart contracts. Impressively, Kiln has managed to grow its managed staked assets fivefold over the past year, currently overseeing 1,168,288 staked ETH, equivalent to nearly $3 billion.
Kiln is also a significant player in operating Ethereum validator nodes, being the largest operator with over 4% market share. Their approach emphasizes security and financial performance and is supported by strategic partnerships, like with the Ethereum Foundation, as noted by their head of marketing, Marie Siegrist.
Besides on-chain products, Kiln offers SDKs and APIs for easy integration with its staking pools and operates a significant network of validators. Their services cater to those seeking to incorporate one-click staking into non-custodial wallets, with some clients requesting dedicated validators.
Kiln’s CEO, Laszlo Szabo, expressed enthusiasm about the company’s future, including expansion plans and the establishment of a new office in Singapore. Since its inception, Kiln has raised a total of $35 million, with its revenue growing alongside its total assets under management due to commission on staking rewards.