This is a first in the startup investment scene. Ledger, a tricolor rhinoceros that specializes in insuring crypto assets, and one of its investors, France’s Cathay Innovation, are banding together to launch an investment fund, simply called Ledger Cathay Capital. Awarded €100 million to be spent on startups or Series A via tickets ranging from €500,000 to €5 million, it aims to fund nuggets of Web3, this new decentralized internet in which individuals like businesses exchange value using blockchain technology, in particular via NFTs ( non-replaceable tokens).
“Sometimes it feels like web 3 It is a futuristic concept but in fact the world is already being transformed into a symbol, believes Pascal Gaultier, Managing Director of Ledger. In a few years, we will no longer be buying physical products without being tied to an NFT to ensure traceability or resale. The luxury, retail, and video game industries are already seeing benefit. Blockchain technology is transforming existing asset classes by adding programmability, trust, security, and digital ownership. “
Finding Tomorrow’s Standards
Led by Dennis Barrier of Cathay Innovation as well as Pascal Gauthier and Michael Lozado of Ledger, Ledger Cathay Capital Fund intends to recruit a team around them to invest around the world, while counting on a presence on all of Cathay’s innovation and ledger continents. .
The fund is particularly interested in emerging technologies in decentralized finance (DeFi), as well as in security, digital ownership and protocol infrastructure that will create tomorrow’s standards in Web 3.
“The market has huge potential but today there is a problem with the interface and security. In Web2, everything is brought to the platform, which in turn manages the user experience and data security. In Web3, we have our own digital asset property but the entire surrounding environment has yet to be built‘,” explains Dennis Barrier, Co-Director of Cathay Innovation.
For Ledger, who has already been making direct investments in startups — including the Artifact block, which Nike bought to realize its transformation into the world of NFTs — investing in a more industrial way in Web3 startups is a key strategic issue. Its platform, which developers use to build their tools directly on it, already secures 20% of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and tokens around the world, making it one of the most advanced companies in the sector.
“The idea of startup funding came to us because we’re in the middle of this ecosystem, we know everyone and our platform gives us very early directional indicators on what works and what doesn’t. Our mission is to support the market and our partners, so finding startups that will help create web3 standards is part of our DNA.It is also a way to secure the future of Ledger, by ensuring that its platform is placed at the heart of this emerging ecosystem, in the ‘web 2’ logic of implementing the platform of the economy around a giant.
A revolution for some, a bubble for others
With the rise of crypto assets and especially since Facebook renamed Meta and announced its strategic shift to the metaverse, the concept of a decentralized web3 is on the rise. Unlike Web 2, which has dedicated the exchange of information and the platform economy – in particular Gafam -, web3 relies on the blockchain to exchange data and value without intermediaries – Gafam or banks -.
Many organizations predict that this fledgling wave will have as much disruptive potential as that of the Internet, with market estimates reaching several trillion dollars in ten years… In Web 3, the blockchain will make it possible, for example, to create financial assets , in the form of NFTs, which can support each service, allowing end users to own and operate each platform. On the contrary, its critics argue that above all a vague marketing concept, its applications will remain limited to a few uses – including financial speculation – and a few sectors – including luxury, which will replace physical evidence of purchase with NFTs, in Continuity of its digital transformation or video game.