THREE QUESTIONS TO JEAN-MARC PUEL, FOUNDING PARTNER, LEADBLOCK PARTNERS
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Who are you?
My name is Jean-Marc Puel, and I co-founded LeadBlock Partners in 2019.
Over the course of my professional career (30+ years), I have completed over US$2.5bn of private equity and venture capital investments, across the full development cycle of businesses (early stage, growth, late-stage, turnaround, distressed), and across regions (Europe, Middle East, Asia, US).
I started my professional career in M&A and Private Equity, then conducted several investments in Defence and Technology start-ups in Europe, Israel and Asia. I also invested in distressed assets in Europe, before focusing on Venture Capital investments particularly on several start-ups in food safety and healthcare in the US.
What is LeadBlock Partners?
My multi-industry experience led me to launch LeadBlock Partners, an European Venture Capital fund investing in B2B data-driven start-ups, leveraging blockchain technology to favor corporations’ digital transformation.
What is LeadBlock Partners’ investment thesis?
We invest in blockchain entrepreneurs building the next phase of the Data Economy across industries. This technology is a key building block of the digital economy alongside other technologies such as AI and IoT. Similarly to how the Internet reinvented how we transact goods and services, blockchain will transform how industries own, share and harness data.
Hence, we focus on start-ups solving concrete digitization challenges across industries. We target key industrial sectors such as Healthcare, Agriculture, Food, Energy & Renewables, Finance, and Consumer Goods.
We have identified a clear and strong corporate interest for blockchain-based solutions as well as a funding gap for B2B blockchain startups. Such factors catalyzed the launch of our B2B blockchain focused venture capital fund with concrete investment opportunities. Since 2015, we are seeing a growing number of European startups developing blockchain applications. About 2/3rd of European blockchain startups founded in the last two years are B2B solutions, versus 1/3rd in the US and Asia, where the focus remains on protocols and infrastructure.
How do you see the future of blockchain adoption?
At the European level, the blockchain ecosystem will continue to grow at an increasing rate across industries. Governments, corporations and entrepreneurs are increasingly aware of use cases, and where the technology could be implemented efficiently. We expect this trend to continue with a growing number of startups moving into production, from years in pilot and proof of concepts.
Longer-term, I am confident that blockchain is set to become a new “internet of value” that will be the unavoidable infrastructure on which companies and individuals will share, transfer and harness data across industries.