Nuggets, the UK-based e-commerce payments and ID platform, has been picked to join the prestigious Lafayette Plug and Play business accelerator program for startups, it was announced today in the French Economic newspaper Les Echos.

Nuggets is the only blockchain-based startup among the 17 companies chosen to take part in what is known as the world leading business accelerator for the retail and e-commerce industry.

The program – created by France’s Galeries Lafayette group in partnership with the Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play Tech Center – helps startups boost their business development by connecting with retail and e-commerce world leaders.

As part of the program, Nuggets will join the Plug and Play global community. Member companies have raised over $7billion in funding since 2006 – with success stories including Dropbox, PayPal, Lending Club, SoundHound and Zoosk.

Alastair Johnson, founder and CEO of Nuggets, said: “This is another great day for Nuggets. We’re so excited by this opportunity and particularly proud to be the only blockchain-based member of the Lafayette program.“We have the chance to collaborate with so many retail leaders, make the most of a range of business development opportunities, and become a part of the the most vibrant startup community in the world.”

Lafayette Plug and Play is a 3-month Paris-based acceleration program focused on the business development of startups that were disrupting the retail and e-commerce industry.

Startups then have the opportunity to join the Plug and Play brand & retail vertical in Silicon Valley to develop their solution in the US market. Plug and Play actively invests in a large number of network members every year.

Alastair said: “When I look at the successful companies that have been involved in the global Plug and Play community, it’s hard not to feel proud about being selected to join”.

Nuggets uses blockchain technology to help consumers regain power over their data by enabling payments and identity without having to share personal information. This makes e-commerce simpler and more secure, and eliminates the laborious task of entering usernames, passwords and payment details.

Combining cryptographically trusted digital identities with IoT means consumers can use simple biometric verifications to pay, login, verify their identities and interact with IoT services as never before.

In recent months, Nuggets has entered into agreements with Storiqa, a marketplace for buying and selling goods with cryptocurrencies, and QFPay, the Chinese payment provider that serves 800 million WeChat users and 400 million Alipay users.

It has also received the backing of the UK Department for International Trade, The Mayor of London and The City of London, as well as being selected for the prestigious Access India Programme.