Business Angels are men and women who invest their own funds in entrepreneurial projects as diverse as they are. The editorial staff has decided to give you its Top 14 of these entrepreneurial enthusiasts who highlight tomorrow’s young shoots.
The founder of the free mobile phone network, Xavier Niel is an excellent business angel. Since 2009, the entrepreneur has invested 35 million euros in equity in 230 different projects. The company Fundme presents him as the first French Business Angel according to a ranking published in April. Its originality comes from the diversity of the projects it supports. In 2010, together with Jérémie Berrebi, he set up the investment fund Kima Ventures, which aims to finance the results of start-ups. At the same time, together with Mathieu Pigasse and Pierre Bergé, he bought the daily newspaper Le Monde, which was in financial difficulties at the time.
F-station was created by Xavier Niel and directed by Roxanne Varza. It is a startup campus, inaugurated on June 29, 2017, spread over 34,000 square meters and located in Halle Freyssinet, in Paris.
The founder of Cash Store and Malinea, which has since been sold to eBuyClub and wait-privee.com, Catherine Barba has not left the world of entrepreneurship. She believes in the potential of start-ups and does not hesitate to promote them. In October last year, she made a short program on the M6 entitled “Entreprendre C Grandir”, in which she presents portraits of entrepreneurs. A season 2 is in preparation and should be aired in the coming months. She is also part of the association 100,000 Entrepreneurs, which aims to convey the entrepreneurial spirit to school children. As a Business Angel, she finances many start-ups, including Leetchi, So Shape, Recommend and Trendsboard. In January 2020, it made an investment in Place2Swap based in Île-de-France. She is also part of the jury for the show Who wants to be my partner? broadcast since this year on the M6.
After setting up Meetic, the famous dating site, in 2002, Marc Simoncini decided to invest in many innovative start-ups. With 12 million euros invested in 23 projects since 2009, the entrepreneur comes in third place in the ranking of the most active Business Angels in France, compiled by the company Fundme. In 2010, he set up his own investment fund called Jaïna Capital with the aim of helping innovative companies with high potential. Among the start-up companies that have received support is Winamax, a famous online poker and sports betting site founded by Patrick Bruel, Alexandre Roos and Christophe Schaming in 2007.
Investment banker and founder of Liautaud & Cie, a consulting and investment firm, Martine Liautaud is a very active Business Angel in France. As a member of the Women Business Angels network, she bought the toy brand Mecano in the early 1990s and invested in the construction of photovoltaic systems in 2009. Highly involved in promoting female entrepreneurship, she launched the Women Business Mentoring Initiative (WBMI) in September 2010. ), which aims to support women entrepreneurs in launching their entrepreneurial project and, above all, to help them cope with the difficult course of three years of activity.
Less known than his friends due to his exile in the United States in 2000, Fabrice Grinda still created three companies: Aucland.fr, Zingy and OLX. The first to be launched in France in 1999 is an online auction site. The other two, founded in the United States, continue to specialize in mobile games and ringtones and online classified ads, respectively. Today, he has sold them all and devoted himself to companies all over the world. Since 2009, it has made 170 investments for a total amount of 26 million euros. In 2014 alone, 41 start-ups benefited from the money the entrepreneur invested.
As a starting point for the Iliad Group’s customer relations and digital strategy, Angélique Gerard is also the founder of the company Memdis, sold in December 2006. In March 2015, she became the leader of Choiseul 100, a ranking of the hundred future leaders of the French economy! She replaces Emmanuel Macron, who took first place in the 2014 edition. Business Angel has for 3 years now participated in the financing of the company Cook Angels, which offers home delivery of ready-made ingredients. In 2019, she made two investments, one of which ran alongside Chantal Baudron. : OurCo – 1.6 million euros – Digital solution in the form of a social network for freedom of expression in the workplace and Aive – amount not disclosed – Tool for automating personal video content.
Founder of Fotolia, one of the world’s leading image banks present in 14 countries and with a turnover of 100 million dollars, Oleg Tscheltzoff also has a Business Angel activity. He says he would like to fund projects that he is really in love with, as was the case for the companies 2 Heures Avant, Architurn or Restopolitan. He also entered the capital of the American investment fund Jeff Clavier. Since 2009, the co-founder of Amen has invested 2.1 million euros in 21 start-up projects, which are ranked seventh among the most active French Business Angels according to the Fundme rankings.
French entrepreneur and founder of Synerfia, a financial and strategic consulting firm for SMEs, Morgane Rollando is also treasurer of “Femmes Business Angels”. This association, which brings together about a hundred female entrepreneurs who personally invest in start-ups, is in fact still the leading female Business Angel network in Europe. Since its inception, 80 companies have benefited from the 4.6 million euros invested. Today, the founder is himself Business Angel and helps many start-ups through both support and equity investments.
Jacques-Antoine Granjon, co-founder of Venteprivee.com, an online event outlet, has supported 19 entrepreneurial projects since 2009 and has invested 1.9 million euros of his personal fortune. In 2011, together with Xavier Niel and Marc Simoncini, he founded the European School of Internet Professions (EEMI), which offers students an unprecedented training in online subjects and web administration. In June 2013, the three entrepreneurs announced the funding of 101 business projects managed by young people under the age of 25, up to 25,000 euros each. Among the winners are start-ups Snapkin, Tech4Team and Gamping.com.
Former associate director of Jaina Capital, Marc Simoncini’s investment fund, Marie-Christine Levet is now director of the public investment bank (Bpifrance) and the Iliad group. The entrepreneur especially participated in the fundraising of 100,000 euros, which was closed by the company Carnet de mode in the summer of 2012, an international online sales platform. It also remains a shareholder in Frenchweb, the magazine for digital professionals. She also comes in 34th place in the top 50 French Business Angels compiled by the company Fundme in June 2013.
Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of France Digitale, France FinTech and SISTA
The series entrepreneur (Leetchi, MangoPay) has to date invested in more than 30 startups in the collaborative economy, crowdfunding and Fintech. Among them we find Pumpkin, Tacotax, iVesta, Yuka, Jimmy Fairly or Welcome to the Jungle.
With 9 million euros injected into 18 companies, the creator of PriceMinister, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, is always at the forefront of investment. He is now a co-founder of the Internet Entrepreneurs Investment Fund (ISAI).
Founder of SeLoger.com, Denys Chalumeau has been investing € 2.4 million since 2009 in eight different companies. He is now a co-founder of Openoox (among others), a company that reinvents websites for Internet browsers.
The founder of Smartbox and historical investor in TheFork, Pierre-Edouard Stérin (7 million euros, seven investments)