The Ledger Cathay Fund, from Ledger and Cathay Innovation, will seek to stimulate the French and European ecosystem in web 3.
It will be called the Ledger Cathay Fund. This Wednesday, the French unicorn Ledger, specialized in securing cryptocurrencies, and the private equity company Cathay Innovation announced the launch of a 100 million euro investment fund to finance companies in the web 3. The fund is notably supported by Bpi France, other investors being also in the process of entering it.
The fund will seek to stimulate the French and European ecosystem in web 3, but may also finance foreign companies, particularly American ones. It will make seed and Series A investments in specialized companies, such as in decentralized finance, digital property or security. Tickets can range 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 founders of the fund have arranged for themselves the possibility of going further than the initial investment. “Given the current demand in Web 3, we cannot rule out going higher,” said Denis Barrier, co-founder of Cathay Innovation, during a press conference in the second arrondissement of Paris on Wednesday. .
The Web 3 market nevertheless remains small: for 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 the exchange of value. The value that will pass on blockchains will increase very quickly”, considers 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 start of the internet. The moment we launch this fund is as if we were in 1997 and we decided to ‘invest in the internet,” said Denis Barrier, who expects a billion users in this industry in the coming years.
For the founders of the fund, the big difference between web 2 (social networks on the internet) and web 3 concerns the question of the security of crypto-assets held by users. Indeed, in web 3, users own a digital asset (cryptocurrency, NFT), involving a security issue for these assets. It is in this sense that 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 objective of the fund will therefore be “to finance companies that will allow users to have access to web 3 services by managing their security issues”, explained the founders of the fund.
“Companies often raise outside France in Web 3, venture capital (VC) is not always there en masse”, considers Pascal Gauthier, considering that it is necessary to “fill” a void.
The latter nevertheless recognizes that if French unicorns like Ledger (380 million euros raised) and Sorare (580 million euros and 40 million euros raised) exist today, it is also because investors , believed in them from the start.
Still few French investors in web 3
Until now, in France, there were only two French funds specialized in web 3: LeadBlock Partners and Signvm. Founded in 2019, the Franco-British fund LeadBlock Partners invests in early-stage and Series A companies, with a ticket ranging from 300,000 euros to 5 million euros. He thus invested in Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection.
For the moment, French investors who focus on Web 3, by making seed investments, remain generalist French funds like the funds of Bpifrance or even XAnge (which has notably invested in the crypto company Coinhouse and ledger).