A French 100 million euro fund dedicated to web 3 has just been launched

The Ledger Cathay Fund, from Ledger and Cathay Innovation, will try to boost the French and European ecosystem in web 3.

It will be called the Ledger Cathay Fund. On Wednesday, French unicorn Ledger, who specializes in securing cryptocurrencies, and private equity firm Cathay Innovation announced the launch of a 100 million euro investment fund to fund companies in the web 3. The fund is mainly supported by Bpi France, other investors are also in the process of entering.

The fund aims to stimulate the French and European ecosystem in web 3, but can also finance foreign companies, especially American ones. It will make seed and series A investments in specialty businesses, such as in decentralized finance, digital ownership or security. Tickets can vary from 500,000 euros to 5 million euros.

Already 6 investments in startups

The fund has already made 6 investments in startups, the names of which will be announced very soon. In addition, the fund’s founders have arranged for themselves the opportunity to go beyond the initial investment. “Given the current demand in Web 3, we can’t rule out going higher,” Denis Barrier, co-founder of Cathay Innovation, said during a press conference in Paris’ second arrondissement on Wednesday.

However, the Web 3 market remains small: by comparison, gold weighs 10 trillion while the cryptocurrency market has a capitalization of just over a billion dollars. But the fund’s founders are optimistic.

“Web 3 is about exchanging value. The value that blockchains will pass on will increase very quickly,” said Pascal Gauthier, founder of Ledger.

The founders strongly believe in the possibilities of web 3 and in its strong growth.

“Today, Web 3 has about 200 million users. We are on the same growth path as the beginning of the Internet. The moment we launch this fund is like we were in 1997 and we decided to ‘invest in the Internet,'” says Denis. . Barrier, which expects a billion users in this industry in the coming years.

For the founders of the fund, the major difference between web 2 (social networks on the internet) and web 3 is the issue of the security of crypto assets held by users. Indeed, in web 3, users own a digital asset (cryptocurrency, NFT), which poses a security issue for these assets. In this sense, the company Ledger was founded, which markets digital wallets to secure cryptocurrencies. The company claims to secure 20% of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and tokens worldwide.

The aim of the fund will therefore be “to fund companies that give users access to web 3 services by managing their security vulnerabilities,” according to the fund’s founders.

“Companies often recruit outside of France in Web 3, venture capital (VC) is not always massive there,” says Pascal Gauthier, who believes it is necessary to “fill” a void.

The latter nevertheless acknowledges that if French unicorns such as Ledger (€380 million raised) and Sorare (€580 million and €40 million raised) exist today, it is also because investors believed in them from the start.

Few French investors in web 3

Until now, there were only two French funds specialized in web 3: LeadBlock Partners and Signvm in France. Founded in 2019, the Franco-British fund LeadBlock Partners invests in early-stage and Series A companies, with a ticket ranging from EUR 300,000 to EUR 5 million. He invested in Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection.

For now, French investors focusing on Web 3, through seed investments, remain generalist French funds such as the funds of Bpifrance or even XAnge (which has notably invested in crypto firm Coinhouse and ledger).

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