This is the first in the startup investment landscape. Ledger, a three-colored unicorn specializing in securing cryptocurrencies, and one of its investors, the French Cathay Innovation, are teaming up to jointly launch an investment fund, simply called Ledger Cathay Capital. Gifted with 100 million euros to be spent on seed or series A startups via tickets between 500,000 euros and 5 million euros, it aims to fund the gold nuggets from Web3, this new decentralized internet, where individuals and companies exchange value using of blockchain technology, in particular through NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
“Sometimes it feels like web3 is a futuristic concept, but in reality the tokenization of the world is already underway, says Pascal Gauthier, the leader of Ledger. In a few years, we will no longer buy physical products without being connected to an NFT to ensure traceability or resale. The luxury, retail and video game industries are already seeing the benefits. Blockchain is transforming existing asset classes by adding programmability, trust, security and digital ownership. “
Finding tomorrow’s standards
The Ledger Cathay Capital Foundation is led by Denis Barrier of Cathay Innovation and Pascal Gauthier and Michael Louzado of Ledger. The Ledger Cathay Capital Fund intends to recruit around them a team to invest worldwide, while relying on the presence on all continents of Cathay Innovation and Ledger.
The fund is particularly interested in new technologies in decentralized finance (DeFi) as well as in infrastructures for security, digital property and protocol that will create tomorrow’s standards on the web3.
“The market has gigantic potential, but today there is an interface and security problem. In Web2, everything was given to the platform, which in turn controls the user experience and data security. In Web3, we have the property of our digital assets, but the entire environment around must be built“, Explains Denis Barrier, co-manager of Cathay Innovation.
For Ledger, which already made direct investments in startups – including the gold nugget Artefact, bought by Nike to reach its switch to the NFT world – investing in a more industrial way in web3 startups is a major strategic issue. . Its platform, used by developers to build their tools directly on it, already secures 20% of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and tokens around the world, making it one of the most groundbreaking companies in the sector.
“The idea of funding start-ups came to us because we are in the middle of this ecosystem, we all know, and our platform gives us very early trend indicators of what works and what does not. Our calling is to support the market and our partners, so it’s part of our DNA to find the startups that will help create web3 standards.“, says Pascal Gauthier. It’s also a way to secure the future of Ledger by ensuring that its platform is located at the heart of this new ecosystem, in a logic ultimately very” web 2 “of platforming the economy around a giant.
Revolution for some, bubble for others
With the advent of cryptocurrencies and especially since Facebook renamed itself Meta and announced its strategic shift to the metaverse, the concept of a decentralized web3 is on the rise. Unlike web2, which dedicated the exchange of information and the economics of platforms – particularly Gafam -, web3 is based on blockchains to exchange data and value without intermediaries – Gafam or banks -.
Many organizations predict that this incipient wave will have as much disruptive potential as the Internet, with market estimates in the order of several trillion dollars in ten years … In web3, blockchain would make it possible e.g. , to create financial assets in the form of NFTs that could operate each service, allowing end users to own and operate each platform. Conversely, its opponents see it above all as a vague marketing concept whose use will remain limited to a few uses – including financial speculation – and a few sectors – including luxury, which will replace physical purchase certificates with NFTs, in continuity in its digital transformation or the video game.