Frédéric Montagnon, Web pioneer and founder of Arianee
A Web2 pioneer in the creation of Overblog, the 46-year-old entrepreneur is now weaving his web into the Internet of the future. In 2017, he launched Arianee to help brands create, distribute and exploit NFTs. “Until a few months ago, the subject was still confidential. Today, no CMO of a company can afford not to have a Web3 strategy ”explained Frédéric Montagnon.
The Parisian start-up has developed an all-in-one platform, a type of Web3 customer relations software, and won contracts with approximately fifty companies including Le Printemps, the Casino group and Breitling. An idea that appealed to investors with fundraising of 20 million euros at a round table chaired by Tiger Capital on May 10.
Driven by his entrepreneurial soul, Frédéric Montagnon first invested in the crypto sector as a business angel before launching LGO, a cryptocurrency exchange platform for United States -based institutions and one of the first to register as a digital asset service provider (PSAN ) of AMF.
Convinced that “Blockchain gives power back to users and companies with their data”then he launched Arianee with Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel. “Decentralized technologies will make it possible for companies to carry out digital transformation and change their relationship with their customers. All while freeing themselves from Gafam to regain their sovereignty.explained Frédéric Montagnon. What wakes me up in the morning is the ambition to participate in this new Internet revolution. ».
Jérôme de Tychey, blockchain enthusiast and founder of Cometh
Jerome of Tychey launched the Cometh on “putting blockchain into play”. The start-up makes games based on blockchain technology. The gameplay seems brainless for the former Warcraft player to be in “a good national level”. Its first game, Cometh.io, built on the Polygon blockchain, will bring in more than 10,000 players by 2021, according to the start-up which has about fifteen employees in Paris. “A success where we surfed to launch our fundraiser”explanation of its founder, in reference to the 10 million dollar financing round conducted at the beginning of May.
Other start-up activity consists of offering white label tools to video game professionals to enable them to integrate blockchain into their offer. In blockchain games, players can own, trade and resell characters or accessories in the form of NFTs that are useful to the game experience. “Blockchain will disrupt the industry, as did 3D and network gaming in the 1990s-2000s”believes Jérôme de Tychey, who found in the blockchain the way to push back the current limits of the industry.
A figure in the French blockchain ecosystem, the former normalien participates with Simon Polrot in the development of Ethereum France, which he has led since 2016. The association creates content to make this technology accessible and organizes events such as The Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC), a reference in Europe. The next session, July 19-21, will feature Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.
Séraphie de Tracy, an entrepreneur who wants to go fast
Under the management of Séraphie de Tracy, everything was very fast for the Cohort. “Six weeks to set up our product, eight to sign our first client”, explanation of the maiden. The Cohort joined start-up studio eFounders, which has notably released two tricolor unicorns, Aircall and Spendesk.
The young shoot is the first project of their new ambition: to release future Web nuggets with 3Founders. Like Arianee, Cohort is developing a SaaS solution to democratize the use of NFTs for brands and their customers. “NFTs are a technological vehicle that allows brands to offer a passport to a unique customer experience”said Séraphie de Tracy.
This HEC graduate became familiar with the blockchain during his time in the City of London, before joining Stratumn, a former French nugget in decentralized financial services. Notably his path will cross with Nicolas Julia, one of Sorare’s founders, whose success illustrates “potential of NFTs”.
This industry must evolve to be accessible to as many people as possible, Séraphie de Tracy believes. “Web3 is still a closed club that doesn’t include those who don’t already know. We want to allow brands to reach everyone.» In the Cohort, the environmental issue is also in mind.
It is for this reason that the platform was built on Polygon, which aims to be the first “climate-positive” blockchain. In a “green manifesto”, the network recently promised to be carbon neutral by the end of the year and to be climate positive in the future (by reducing its CO2 and a $ 20 million compensation policy).
Sébastien Borget, the important metaverse with The Sandbox
With the media whirlwind caused by the emergence of the metaverse, the name The Sandbox became important. And with it, its two French creators, Arthur Madrid and Sébastien Borget. But success did not come overnight. Sandbox is their third entrepreneurial video game venture, launched in 2011 to allow game creators to build their pixelated 2D characters and games. “Over the next eight years, we got 40 million installs and 70 million user-generated worlds.recollection of Sébastien Borget. But we were disappointed that we couldn’t reward the creators. »
The discovery of the blockchain and NFT in 2017 will help them solve this equation and make The Sandbox one of the metaverse’s most promising visions. Thanks to the blockchain, every 3D content created (character, object, etc.) is associated with an NFT, which can be resold explicitly in a market place.
“Every user owns their own digital assets. It’s an open metaverse, unlike Roblox and Facebook, that owns the content and therefore uses it as they please”who underlined last year Sébastien Borget in “Echos”, whose start-up is owned by Animoca Brands, a video game company in Hong Kong.
Today, there are several hundred creators around the world. “Some get all their revenue from The Sandbox. There are even video game studios with a team dedicated to our platform.”, explains the entrepreneur. After raising $ 93 million in a rounding of funding led by SoftBank in November, the start-up could raise $ 400 million soon for Bloomberg’s estimate of $ 4 billion.
Nicolas Julia, the 3.0 entertainment giant with Sorare
Nicolas Julia’s ambition is clear: “Creating a champion in sports entertainment tomorrow. » Together with Adrien Monfort, they bet in 2017 that NFTs could change the sport’s entertainment experience and launch Sorare. A “fantasy football” game based on the buying and selling of rare digital cards, where gaming and investment are combined. “We quickly came to believe that the particular features of NFT technology, in the same way as digital scarcity or the question of traceability, would lead to a technological change that would have the same impact on our lives as the advent of‘ Internet or smartphone ‘, explanation of 35 year old businessman.
The former EM Lyon employee began his consulting career before co-founding an incubator (La Javaness) and discovered various blockchain applications at Stratumn, a pioneering French start-up in the sector.
If investors are initially skeptical of the project, five years later, Nicolas Julia’s bet will soon be met. By the end of 2021, Sorare had completed the largest fundraiser in French Tech’s history with 680 million dollars, bringing its value to nearly 4.3 billion dollars. As the emerging NFT market in 2021, Sorare has increased the number of its active users ten times a year and claimed 270,000 active users for 1 million registered on the platform.
After European football, Nicolas Julia is now invading the profitable American market and this May announced a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States. And it’s not Sorare’s intention to stop in a good way. “Another partnership in a new sport is being prepared”predicts the dealer, who has not yet played all his cards.