Audrey Handem: "With Web3, the biggest risk is the unknown"

Pan-European venture-capital fund Speedinvest provides early-stage financing for cutting-edge tech startups. Its London-based VC investor, Audrey Handem, talks to us about Web3, a revolution that promises to deliver a truly decentralized internet.

Posté le Thursday, April 14th 2022
Audrey Handem: "With Web3, the biggest risk is the unknown"

Leaders League: How would you assess the impact blockchain has had on the investment fund sector thus far?
Audrey Handem:
Over the past three years Web3 has changed the lie of the land in numerous sectors of the economy. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 revolutionized these sectors and this new stage alters the paradigm once more.

Furthermore, the relaunch of Facebook as Meta at the end of 2021 peaked the curiosity of a number of investors. It was a move rooted in technologies such as blockchain and NFTs, which promise to completely decentralize digital ownership, thanks in the main to the latter. Web3 is paving the way for new business models and creating entirely new ways of managing organizations.  

What are the opportunities and risks associated with Web3?
The biggest risk is the unknown, given that we are only at the early stages. As with a lot of new technologies, there is a lack of a skills-base to fully exploit them and this will take time to address. Then there is the issue of malware and other viruses: we need to anticipate how they may adapt to function in the new era, in order to protect ourselves.

Web3 is paving the way for new business models and creating entirely new ways of managing organizations

The opportunities arising from Web3 are extremely exciting, notably through the use of blockchain, which has the potential to revolutionize entire industries.

From our standpoint, it’s even more exciting to be able to invest in Web2.0 startups and help them benefit from this technology. As regards Web3, the most promising sectors are healthcare, with its applications for the management of medical data, the peer-to-peer marketplace or the fields of identification systems and information sharing, which this new era will make more transparent and fluid.

Which Web3 projects is Speedinvest investing in?
We have invested in a dozen or so startups working on Web3 services, including Bitpanda, a cryptocurrency broker, and Starton, which specializes in providing access to Web3 for Web 2.0 startups, thanks to its API.

Do blockchain and responsible investment go hand-in-hand?
Definitely! What’s more, we we're working with a couple of startups that are engaged in countering the environmental concerns of businesses, specifically on improving transparency regarding a company’s climate-impact.

This is something we, as an investor, take very seriously. From a prospect’s first interview with us, we try to get a feel for the steps it has taken to date, as regards climate change, and from there suggest ways as to how it can improve.