These French people who are building the Web3 business

Frédéric Montagnon, Web Pioneer and Founder of Arianee

Pioneering Web2 with the creation of Overblog, the 46-year-old entrepreneur is now weaving his web into the Internet of the future. In 2017, he launched Arianee to help brands create, distribute and exploit NFTs. “Until a few months ago, the matter was still confidential. Now, there is no CMO of a company that can afford not to have a Web3 strategy.”explains Frédéric Montagnon.

The Parisian start-up developed an all-in-one platform, a kind of Web3 customer relationship software, and won contracts with around fifty companies, including Le Printemps, the Casino group and Breitling. An idea that attracted investors with a fundraising of 20 million euros during a roundtable led by Tiger Capital on the 10th of May.

Driven by his entrepreneurial soul, Frédéric Montagnon first invested in the cryptocurrency industry as a business angel before launching LGO, a cryptocurrency exchange platform for US-based institutions and one of the first to be registered as an asset services provider. (PSAN) by AMF.

convinced that “Blockchain gives users and companies power over their data”he then released Arianee with Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel. “Decentralized technologies will make it possible to carry out the digital transformation of companies and change their relationship with their customers. All this while breaking free from Gafam to regain its sovereigntyexplains Frédéric Montagnon. What makes me wake up in the morning is the ambition to participate in this new Internet revolution. ».

Jérôme de Tychey, blockchain enthusiast and founder of Cometh

Jerome de Tychey, founder of ComethRD

Jerome of Tychey released the Cometh to “put blockchain in games”. The start-up produces games based on blockchain technology. The game sounded like a no-brainer for the ex-Warcraft player who is on the “a good national level”. Its first game, Cometh.io, powered by the Polygon blockchain, gathered more than 10,000 players in 2021, according to the start-up that has about fifteen employees in Paris. “A hit we surfed on to launch our fundraiser”explains its founder, referring to the $10 million funding round carried out in early May.

The start-up’s other activity consists of offering white label tools to video game professionals to allow them to integrate blockchain into their offering. In blockchain games, players can own, trade and resell characters or accessories in the form of NFTs useful for the game experience. “Blockchain will revolutionize the industry, as 3D and network gaming did in the 1990s and 2000s”believes Jérôme de Tychey, who found blockchain the way to push back the current boundaries of the industry.

A figure in the French blockchain ecosystem, the former normalien participates with Simon Polrot in the development of Ethereum France, which he has chaired since 2016. The association creates content to make this technology accessible and organizes events such as The Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC), a reference in Europe. The next session, July 19-21, will feature Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

Séraphie de Tracy, an entrepreneur who wants to go fast

Séraphie de Tracy, co-founder of Cohort

Séraphie de Tracy, co-founder of CohortRD

With Séraphie de Tracy in charge, it all went too fast for Cohort. “Six weeks to configure our product, eight to sign our first client”, explains the young woman. Cohort joined the initial studio eFounders, which notably brought in two tricolor unicorns, Aircall and Spendesk.

Young Shooting is the first project of his new ambition: to bring the future nuggets of the web with 3Founders. Like Arianee, Cohort is developing a SaaS solution to democratize the use of NFTs for brands and their customers. “NFTs are a technology vehicle that allows brands to offer a passport to a radically different customer experience”says Séraphie de Tracy.

This HEC graduate became familiar with blockchain during her time in the City of London, before joining Stratumn, a former French nugget in decentralized financial services. She will notably cross paths with Nicolas Julia, one of the founders of Sorare, whose success illustrates the “potential of NFTs”.

This industry must evolve to be accessible to as many people as possible, believes Séraphie de Tracy. “Web3 is still a closed club that excludes the uninitiated. We want to allow brands to reach everyone. » At Cohort, the environmental issue is also on the mind.

It is for this reason that the platform was developed on Polygon, which aims to be the first “climate positive” blockchain. In a “green manifesto”, the network recently committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year and having a positive climate in the future (by reducing its COtwo and a US$20 million compensation policy).

Sébastien Borget, the essential metaverse with The Sandbox

In the media whirlwind caused by the emergence of the metaverse, The Sandbox’s name became essential. And with it, that of its two French creators, Arthur Madrid and Sébastien Borget. But success did not come overnight. Sandbox is their third entrepreneurial video game venture, launched in 2011 to allow game creators to develop their pixelated 2D characters and games. “Over the next eight years, we’ve attracted 40 million installs and 70 million user-generated worlds.remembers Sébastien Borget. But we were frustrated that we couldn’t reward creators. »

It was the discovery of blockchain and NFTs in 2017 that would help them solve this equation and make Sandbox one of the most promising visions of the metaverse. Thanks to the blockchain, each 3D content created (character, object, etc.) is associated with an NFT, which can be transparently resold in a marketplace.

“Each user has their own digital assets. It’s an open metaverse, unlike Roblox and Facebook who own the content and therefore use it as they wish.”Last year Sébastien Borget highlighted “Echos”, whose start-up is owned by Animoca Brands, a video game company in Hong Kong.

To date, there are several hundred creators all over the world. “Some get all of their income from the Sandbox. There are even video game studios that have a team dedicated to our platform”, explained the businessman. After raising $93 million in a SoftBank-led funding round in November, the start-up could soon raise $400 million for a valuation estimated by Bloomberg at $4 billion.

Nicolas Julia, the entertainment giant 3.0 with Sorare

Nicolas Julia, co-founder of Sorare

Nicolas Julia, co-founder of SorareJulien Faure

Nicolas Julia’s ambition is clear: “Creating the sports entertainment champion of tomorrow. » With Adrien Monfort, they bet in 2017 that NFTs could change the entertainment experience in sport and launched Sorare. A “fantasy football” game based on the purchase and sale of rare digital cards, where gambling and investment are combined. “Very quickly we became convinced that the specific characteristics of NFT technology, as well as digital scarcity or the issue of traceability, would lead to a technological change that would have the same impact on our lives as the arrival of the ‘Internet or Smartphone’. , explains the 35-year-old businessman.

The former EM Lyon employee started his career in consulting before co-founding an incubator (La Javaness) and discovering the many applications of blockchain at Stratumn, a pioneering French start-up in the sector.

If investors were initially skeptical about the project, five years later, Nicolas Julia’s bet is on the way to being fulfilled. In late 2021, Sorare completed the largest fundraising in French Tech’s history with $680 million, bringing its valuation to nearly $4.3 billion. As the NFT market grows in 2021, Sorare has increased the number of active users tenfold in one year and claims 270,000 active users to 1 million registered on the platform.

After European football, Nicolas Julia now attacks the lucrative American market and announced in May this year a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States. And Sorare doesn’t intend to stop so well. “Another partnership with a new sport is being prepared”predicts the businessman, who still hasn’t played all his cards.

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