On May 30, 2023, Archipels, a French consortium owned by public entities, and the developer of a sovereign digital ID relying on blockchain, announced a new round of fundraising, the goals of which remain undisclosed.
The four historic shareholders of Archipels are the Caisse des depôts (financial institution), La Poste (postal service), EDF Pulse Venture (utility venture capital fund) and Engie (utility). During the round, a new investor bought into to the company: IN Group (formerly national printing office, 100% State-owned).
In charge of creating physical ID documents for the French Republic, IN Group also develops digital ID solutions. The new shareholder now has the same number of shares as the Caisse des depôts (CDC) and La Poste, who both contributed to the round. Neither EDF nor Engie reinvested in the consortium.
Archipels operates a private, member-controlled, blockchain, for decentralized document, data and ID certification services. “This project is very strategic for shareholders. And highly ambitious: we hope to build a European champion, a new layer of ID above the Internet,” states Hervé Bonazzi, head of Archipels.
The announcement came a few months away from the finishing touches to new European regulations on digital ID, eIDAS 2, which should be implemented in 2025. By this date, each member State will have to provide its citizens with a secure digital ID wallet. Archipels is taking part in several eIDAS 2 pilot projects.
Olivier Sichel, Deputy CEO for CDC, ambitiously deems that the “web 3 solution”, backed by the Archipels blockchain, “could become a decentralized digital ID sovereign standard.”
As for IN Group, they intend to establish themselves on the European level as “a trusted player in the migration of professional and government IDs toward digital identity,” according to Didier Trutt, IN Group CEO.
The company’s investment in Archipels is part of this strategy. “It’s a key step in rolling out decentralized ID solutions that can guarantee State sovereignty and user data security,” explains Didier Trutt.