These French people who are building the Web3 business

Frédéric Montagnon, web pioneer and founder of Arianee

Frédéric Montagnon, co-founder of ArianeeDR

A Web2 pioneer with the creation of Overblog, the 46-year-old entrepreneur is now weaving his web in the Internet of the future. In 2017, he launched Arianee to help brands create, distribute and leverage NFTs. “Until a few months ago, the subject 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 has developed an all-in-one platform, a kind of Web3 customer relationship software, and has won contracts with around fifty companies, including Le Printemps, the Casino group and Breitling. An idea that appealed to investors with a fundraising of 20 million euros during a round table round led by Tiger Capital on May 10.

Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, Frédéric Montagnon first invested in the crypto sector as a business angel before launching LGO, a cryptocurrency exchange platform for institutions based in the United States and one of the first to be registered as a digital asset service provider (PSAN) by the AMF.

Convinced of it “Blockchain gives power back to users and companies over their data”he then launched Arianee with Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel. “Decentralized technologies will make it possible to carry out the digital transformation of companies and to change their relationship with their customers. All the while freeing themselves from Gafam to regain their sovereigntyexplains Frédéric Montagnon. What gets me up in the morning is the ambition to participate in this new internet revolution. ».

Jérôme de Tychey pushes the boundaries of gaming with Cometh and blockchain

Jerome of Tychey, founder of Cometh

Jerome of Tychey, founder of ComethDR

Jerome of Tychey launched Cometh two “putting blockchain into play”. The start-up produces games based on blockchain technology. Gaming sounded like a no-brainer for the former Warcraft player who is at “a good national level”. Its first game,, developed on the Polygon blockchain, gathered more than 10,000 players in 2021, according to the startup, which has about fifteen employees in Paris. “A success that we surfed to launch our fundraising”explains its founder, referring to the funding round of 10 million dollars completed at the beginning of May.

The second activity of the startup consists of offering white label tools to video game professionals so they can integrate blockchain into their offerings. In blockchain games, players can own, trade and resell characters or accessories in the form of NFTs useful for the gaming experience. “This technology will disrupt the industry like 3D and network gaming did in the 1990s-2000s”believes Jérôme de Tychey, who with blockchain has found the way to push back the current boundaries of the industry.

A figure in the French blockchain ecosystem, the former normal 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, 19.-21. July, will feature Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

Séraphie de Tracy, at the head of Cohort, new nugget of 3Founders

Séraphie de Tracy, co-founder of Cohort

Séraphie de Tracy, co-founder of CohortDR

With Séraphie de Tracy at the helm, everything went very quickly for Cohort. “Six weeks to create our product, eight to sign our first customer”, explains the entrepreneur. Cohort joined startup studio eFounders, which notably brought two tri-colored unicorns, Aircall and Spendesk.

The start-up is the first project in their new ambition: to discover the future nuggets of Web3 with 3Founders. Like Arianee, Cohort is developing a SaaS solution to democratize the use of NFTs for brands and their customers. “NFTs are a technological vehicle that enables brands to offer a passport to a radically different customer experience”says Seraphie de Tracy.

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

This industry must develop 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 empower brands to reach everyone. » The environmental issue is also on Cohort’s mind.

It is for this reason that the platform was developed at Polygon, which aims to be the first “climate positive” blockchain. In a “green manifesto”, the network recently pledged to become CO2 neutral by the end of the year and climate positive in the future (through a reduction of CO2 and a $20 million indemnity policy).

Sébastien Borget, one of the fathers of The Sandbox, the essential metaverse

Sébastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox

Sébastien Borget, co-founder of The SandboxDR

In the media whirlwind caused by the emergence of the metaverse, the name of The Sandbox has become significant. And with it, its two French creators, Arthur Madrid and Sébastien Borget. But success did not come overnight. The 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 attracted 40 million installs and 70 million user-generated worlds.recalls 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 The Sandbox one of the most promising visions of the metaverse. Thanks to the blockchain, every 3D content created (character, object, etc.) is associated with an NFT, which can then be resold transparently on a marketplace.

“Each user owns their own digital assets. It’s an open metaverse unlike Roblox and Facebook who own the content and therefore use it however they want”emphasized last year Sébastien Borget to “Echos”, whose start-up is owned by Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong video game company.

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

Nicolas Julia, the origin of Sorare, the entertainment giant 3.0

Nicolas Julia, co-founder of Sorare

Nicolas Julia, co-founder of SorareJulien Faure

Nicolas Julia’s ambition is clear: “Creating tomorrow’s champion in sports entertainment. » With Adrien Monfort, in 2017 they bet that NFTs could change the entertainment experience in sports and launched Sorare. A “fantasy football” game based on buying and selling rare digital cards, where play and investment are combined. “We very quickly had the conviction that the specific characteristics of NFT technology, in the same way 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 entrepreneur.

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

If the investors were initially skeptical of the project, five years later, Nicolas Julia’s investment is well on its way to being paid off. At the end of 2021, Sorare completed the largest fundraising in French Tech’s history with $680 million, bringing its valuation to nearly $4.3 billion. Like the booming NFT market in 2021, Sorare has seen its number of active users tenfold in a year, claiming 270,000 active users for 1 million registered on the platform.

After European soccer, Nicolas Julia is now attacking the lucrative American market and in May announced a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States. And Sorare has no intention of stopping there. “Another partnership with a new sport is in preparation”predicts the entrepreneur, who has not yet played all his cards.

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