If having innovative ideas, dynamism and talent are essential conditions to launch a start-up, its evolution and growth remain mainly linked to the financing issue. However, it is difficult to find the necessary funds.
That’s why ”Business Angels” have specialized in seeking out the most promising gold nuggets to bet on their success. Portrait of 10 leaders who finance the future of our companies.
This self-taught Franco-Israeli woman teamed up with Xavier Niel in 2010 to create Kima Ventures. He doesn’t take half measures and invests in one or two start-ups a week and becomes the most active Business Angel in the world, according to Business Insider. It would have enabled the financing of 330 companies in more than 32 countries!
The well-known president of Free has been named Business Angel of the Year 2015 by Les Échos magazine. This award recognizes both his performance within Kima Ventures and his personal work at the start-up Capitaine Train. Every year, 50 to 60 start-ups benefit from the support. He has invested nearly €25 million in more than 120 startups since September 2017. He is the 9th richest person in France, founded Iliad, the French telecommunications group and founded Kima Ventures, an investment fund specializing in startups. He invested $300 million in June 2017 to launch Station F, the world’s largest business incubator. Station F covers an area the size of six American football fields and has 1,000 startups operating under the same roof.
Fabrice Grinda knows how to take risks. In 20 years, this Niçois has been able to invest in nearly 160 companies, such as the well-known Airbnb, Blablacar, City Vox and Dropbox. Since 2017, he has invested 43 million euros in nearly 125 startups. Co-founder of Aucland in 1999 (online auctions sold to Bernard Arnault for €21 million), of Zingy in 2001 (mobile phone content sold for €86 million to the Japanese group For Side), of OLX in 2006 (a large number of classifieds in the row).
Maker of the minitel at the age of 22, he sold iFrance to Vivendi in May 2000 for 182 million euros and then created with the success that we know the dating site Meetic. He structures his investment activity within Jaina Capital, which specializes in high-tech. 23 start-ups received 12 million euros in this way. It is thanks to the internet that Marc Simoncini will make a fortune. He sold most of his stake in Meetic to the Match.com group. He took advantage of this capital to invest in startups. In 2010, he launched Jaïna Capital, an investment fund focused on innovative start-ups.
Thanks to his success with Price Minister and his acquisition for 200 million euros by the Japanese Rakuten, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet supports the French innovative ecosystem. The ISAI investment fund specializes in the Internet.
Jacques Antoine Granjon
The man from Vente-privée.com comes from an entrepreneurial family. He plans to support entrepreneurship in France and has invested in many successful start-ups such as Bank of Poker, or
fanzy. Like his company, which is growing more and more
international, a third of the participations are abroad. He has
started investing in startups before becoming a committed investor in the digital ecosystem.
Working at L’Oréal, he got bored and started producing shows in Eastern Europe before becoming France’s No. 2 website host. This success allows him, together with Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini and Jacques-Antoine Granjon, to invest in today’s most innovative companies. Fotolia CEO and serial entrepreneur has invested in about forty innovative startups. Headquartered in New York, Fotolia is located in 15 countries and offers a catalog of more than 11 million photos, has 80,000 employees and 2 million members.
Denys Chalumeau, founder of the Digitalik fund and co-founder of several successful sites such as PromoVacances.com, Billetreduc.com, Seloger.com or SeFaireAider.com, wants to share his experience and help the emergence of new creative projects. †
The first Business Angel in France according to the Angel Square ranking has invested €40 million in 12 startups since September 2017. The founder of the European leader in Smartbox gift boxes still largely owns his company (almost 85% of the capital) which raised 480 M€
turnover in 2017.
Co-founder of Vente Privée and founder of Financière Saint-James has invested 8.5 million euros in 25 startups. This Business Angel has invested in Wemaintain, Tactical Adventure (video game development and publishing studio created in 2018) and even Chefing.
Showroomprivé founder has invested € 2.6 million in 9 start-ups. Companies such as Selency, Backmarket and Blablacar are in her portfolio. He is the ninth most active French Business Angel according to the 2016 Challenge Ranking. He has invested in many Internet companies and participates in their development: Avis de Maman, TagCommander, Vinted, DoYouBuzz, Sigfox and Talent.io. Thierry Petit has financed more than forty start-ups, eleven of which are mainly active in the e-commerce sector.