“You wanted to see Vierzon and we saw… Ledger. ” Popularized by Jacques Brel, the door of Sologne now affixes its name, alongside San José or Bangalore, among the world capitals of high-tech. The fault of a French start-up, Ledger. Created in 2014 by Éric Larchevêque, it joined the closed club of blue-white-red unicorns in 2022: these tech companies valued at more than 1 billion euros.
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Its flagship product, a kind of ultra-secure USB key (photo) which stores cryptocurrencies: the Ledger (“register”, in English). The startup secures around 15% of all bitcoin and other crypto assets globally. In total, the Berry company has sold more than 3 million of its electronic wallets in 190 countries and has 1.5 million monthly users on Ledger Live, its purchase and sale platform.
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In July 2021, 221 million people held cryptocurrencies. Ledger, which has 500 employees, wants to double its workforce by the end of the year and aims for a valuation of 100 billion dollars in 2027. The start-up also wants to allow its users to store in their secure wallets NFTs, virtual works of art or cryptotokens, which can be won through “play-to-earn”, the new territory of cryptos.
The start-up secures 15% of crypto assets worldwide
If he passed his hand to his right arm, Pascal Gauthier, Éric Larchevêque, an engineer by training, keeps an eye on his baby. Serial entrepreneur with six start-ups co-founded in fifteen years, Éric, who participates in the program “Who wants to be my partner?” on M6, also fi nanced the Maison du bitcoin in Paris. Jack-of-all-trades, he started with a web agency, real estate, hotels and… the profession of professional poker player. He accumulated 500,000 euros in winnings on the “poker tour” before embarking on tech.
“Nothing was easy. It was first necessary to understand this universe, between mining, cryptos and blockchain. But I was convinced of being in the direction of history, he confides. Admittedly, we had a little trouble raising funds, because the cryptos smelled of sulfur. This only took off in 2016 and 2017, thanks to the outperformance of bitcoin, whose price increased tenfold in one year. In the next five years, he predicts, there will be 1 billion people active in the crypto market. For the greater glory of Vierzon, his hometown, where Ledger has repatriated its production of electronic safes, initially produced in China.
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