Fabric Ventures is thrilled to lead a $40m Series B round in Argent, alongside Metaplanet, with participation including strategic investors such as Starkware, Jump & Animoca, and existing investors Paradigm, Index Ventures & Creandum.
Mass adoption of web3 requires user access to be simple, secure, and cheap; while millions of people have some experience of crypto, the user process is cumbersome and risky. Existing high-information cryptonative users are comfortable in this paradigm, willing to both navigate current complexity themselves and to accept the risk of loss of funds. Newer, more casual users, who are necessary for the ecosystem to develop to mass adoption, are not comfortable with these sorts of risks. These users require their portal to web3 – their wallet – to seamlessly and easily integrate with this ecosystem, removing the risks of irreversible loss of funds. Additionally, much of the activity up till recently has taken place on Ethereum layer one, inaccessible for all but the richest users.
Any wallet, to cater to the mass market, must simultaneously solve each of these issues: Argent does just this. They provide a non-custodial smart contract wallet on both ethereum layer 2 scaling solutions (Starknet and zksync) and Ethereum layer 1. This allows users to take advantage of low fees, adds security features (such as social recovery & fraud monitoring) and provides account abstraction for seamless integration with dapps.
Building on layer 2 Ethereum scaling solutions – such as Starknet and zksync – results in significantly lower fees for users, a significant barrier to entry today. Via its Argent X browser wallet Argent is positioned as the first wallet on starknet, whose ecosystem has exploded ahead of its launch. In just a few months, Argent X has had greater than 100k downloads, and weekly transactions have jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. We believe these numbers will only grow as starknet launches. Argent’s mobile app on zksync has had greater than 500k signups in the past few months, and we’re excited for zksync V2 to launch later this year, allowing Argent to leverage the innate advantage of a smart wallet with account abstraction.
As a non-custodial smart contract wallet, Argent has been able to implement invaluable security features which are necessary for casual users to adopt web3. Users are not beholden to centralized players and control their own assets, but do not trade off that benefit with undue complexity and risk. Argent provides social recovery and fraud monitoring so users do not need to remember seed phrases (12 random words) or constantly monitor for malicious actors, and can be protected from “fat-finger” errors. The importance of fraud management is one we know well, witnessed firsthand by Anil (General Partner) as a catalyst for the mass-market success at PayPal.
It was features like social recovery that attracted us to the Argent mobile wallet years ago, first as users — for many of us at Fabric it was the first mobile wallet that we used for DeFi. We have loved the development of the app since then, and are excited by the team’s vision to expand into a super app across all web3: with functionality made possible by the cheaper fees of scaling solutions.
While long term we believe Argent’s features as a smart contract wallet position it as the wallet for anyone to onboard to web3, we also believe that it is important for a wallet to be considered the default/defacto wallet for an ecosystem, in order to gain traction with high information users currently in crypto. This is a thesis we have seen play out already, with the likes of metamask on EVM and phantom on Solana. As such, we are particularly excited about Argent’s position in the starknet ecosystem.
In Itamar, Gerard, and Julien, Argent has an executive team with the clarity of vision, focus, and execution to provide the means to onboard the next generation of web3 users. The team are longtime collaborators, having worked together at multiple companies over the past two decades, something Anil had the privilege to see firsthand through prior work collaborations (having backed Itamar at Peak) which was successfully sold to Hachette. They are laser focused on building for the future, rather than chasing the current thing, leading to the development of consumer-necessary features such as social recovery, as well as their position in ecosystems such as starknet and ZKsync.
While we have historically invested at earlier stages in our venture fund (pre-seed, seed, series A), we at Fabric are delighted to announce this deal at this later stage — our fifth deal in venture growth. Our portfolio has grown and matured alongside us since we started investing in 2016, and we are proud to be able to back them with larger tickets at later stages. Alongside those investments, we are excited to invest in companies we have long followed and have high conviction in, such as Argent and Immutable. Watch this space for future announcements!
We are excited to work with Argent as they expand their product across geographies and protocols: from gaming and NFTs to DeFi and DAOs, they are set to bring web3 to the masses.
We back the boldest technologists & communities at the earliest stages, supporting them throughout their journey and becoming active participants within the networks they are building.
To learn more about Fabric Ventures, you can visit our website, follow us on Twitter and read our investment thesis.
Why we Invested in Argent was originally published in Fabric Ventures on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.