In the endless world of Web3, France is weaving an increasingly solid web. Among the horde of French Tech unicorns, these start-ups worth more than a billion dollars, two French successes have recently declared themselves as world leaders in the blockchain. Sorare, who developed the “fantasy sports” game based on digital cards in the form of NFTs, achieved a historic seed round of 680 million dollars by the end of 2021, bringing its value to more than 4 billion euros. With the ambition to become an “entertainment 3.0 giant”, the model developed by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Monfort in 2019 continues to lift around the world with a partnership signed in May with Major League Baseball in the United States.
A few months before this, it was Ledger, whose factory is located in Vierzon (Cher), that rose to the rank of unicorn with a funding round of 380 million euros. The digital wallet company is now worth more than $ 1.5 billion. But its managing director, Pascal Gauthier, sees things on a large scale and revealed to “Les Echos” that he is aiming for “a valuation of 100 billion dollars”. Ledger is fast becoming a global benchmark and now boasts more than 3 million customers in 190 countries. The company says it secures approximately 15% of all cryptocurrencies worldwide.
Comprising this dominant position in their sector, Sorare and Ledger are part of fifty or more French digital players who decided to join forces to create the NFT Factory, a 400 -square -meter space that will serve as a showcase of the Paris ecosystem. An “arrogant ecosystem”, according to Thibaud Elzière, the co-founder of popular start-up studio eFounders, which has launched a Web3-focused vertical called “3Founders”.
“Since announcing the launch, we have been shocked by the requests from entrepreneurs who want to join us to start this new El Dorado,” explains Thibaud Elzière. The first hatch project is Cohort, a platform that allows brands to offer exclusive experiences to their customers through NFTs. “Many sectors are in the process of blockchain disruption, and France has the talents to be able to face this challenge”, estimates one who has already participated in the hatching of two other tricolor unicorns, Aircall and Spendesk.
But it is not just the “start-up nation” that is focused on the Internet of the future. If the blockchain has already made a name for itself among some large French groups for being able to monitor and guarantee the authenticity of certain services or products, more and more French companies are unwilling to miss out on this technological innovation and investors.
In the latest “Blockchain and Crypto” report, the PwC firm states that 61% of French companies investing in blockchain and crypto-assets will generate revenue by 2021. “This is no longer a question of some projects with moderate way, but in fact is a blockchain and crypto tidal wave that covers traditional companies and pure players, SMEs and large groups, French and international companies ”, which underlined the company.
Moreover, investment in the field of Web3 presents an opportunity for French companies “to free themselves from international platforms to regain their digital sovereignty thanks to decentralized technologies”, according to Frédéric Montagnon, head of Arianee, a start-up that specializes in NFTs that has just raised 20 million euros.
More and more French companies are thinking of joining forces with, or even acquiring, a pure player in the sector over the next three years, with 28% of large or medium-sized companies considering- this option is now considered. Like Sorare, which claims nearly 325 million in turnover in 2021, pure French players are attractive for their ability to grow rapidly. Internationally, they are 44% to have annual growth higher than 50%, against 70% in France.
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