In the borderless world of Web3, France is weaving an ever stronger web. Among the French Tech unicorn herd, these startups valued at over a billion dollars, two French successes have recently established themselves as world leaders in blockchain.
Sorare, which has developed a digital card-based “fantasy sports” game in the form of an NFT, reached a historic seed round of $ 680 million at the end of 2021, bringing its valuation to over € 4 billion. With the ambition to become a “Giant of the show 3.0”, the model developed by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Monfort in 2019 it continues its rise internationally with a partnership signed last May with Major League Baseball in the United States.
A few months earlier it was Ledger, whose factory is located in Vierzon (Cher), to rise to the rank of unicorn with a funding round of 380 million euros. The digital wallet company is now valued at over $ 1.5 billion. But its CEO, Pascal Gauthierthink big and told al Echoes he was aiming for “A valuation of 100 billion dollars”. Ledger quickly became a global benchmark and today boasts over 3 million customers in 190 countries. The company claims to protect around 15% of all cryptocurrencies globally.
Strengthened by this dominant position in their sector, Sorare and Ledger are part of about fifty French digital players who have decided to join forces to give life to the NFT factory, a space of 400 square meters that should act as a showcase for the ecosystem in Paris. A “Fertile ecosystem”, according to Thibaud Elzière, co-founder of the famous start-up studio eFounders, who just launched a vertical dedicated to the Web3 called 3Founders.
“Since the announcement of the launch, we have been overwhelmed by the requests of entrepreneurs who want to join us in undertaking this new Eldorado”, explains Thibaud Elzière. The first project to be born is Cohort, a platform that allows brands to offer exclusive experiences to their customers through NFT. “There are many industries on the verge of being shocked by blockchain and France has the talent to tackle this challenge,” believes the one who has already participated in the hatching of two other tricolor unicorns, Aircall and Spendesk.
But it’s not just the start-up nation that has its eyes on the Internet of the future. If the blockchain has already made its way into some large French groups for its ability to track and guarantee the authenticity of certain services or products, more and more French companies do not want to miss this technological breakthrough and are investing.
In the latest “Blockchain and Crypto” report, the PwC firm notes that 61% of French companies that invested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies generated profits in 2021. “It is no longer a matter of a few projects with moderate means, but of a blockchain and crypto tsunami that covers traditional companies and pure players, SMEs and large groups, French and international companies”, emphasizes the company.
Furthermore, investing in the Web3 field represents an opportunity for French companies ” from break free from international platforms regain its digital sovereignty through decentralized technologies “, according to Frederic Montagnonat the helm of Arianee, a start-up specialized in NFT that has just raised 20 million euros.
More and more French companies are also considering collaborate with, or even acquire, a pure player in the industry over the next three years, with 28% of large and medium-sized enterprises now considering this option. Like Sorare, which boasts nearly 325 million in sales in 2021, pure French players are appealing for their ability to grow rapidly. At international level, 44% have an annual growth of over 50%, compared to 70% in France.