Start-up: Top 12 young “business angels” under the age of 35

Written 4 Feb. 2019 at 10:38 amUpdated Feb 4 2019 at 17:42

Most of the time you don’t know them. But with a total of close to 10 million euros invested over the past 5 years, they constitute the new generation of business angels who are knocking on the door of their elders.

Admittedly, the amounts are not yet at the same level as the tenors of the genre (Pierre-Edouard Stérin, Fabrice Grinda and Xavier Niel), but their practice, their motivations, their knowledge of the economic substance sets them apart and allows them to settle at the top of the ​​the first ranking of business angels under 35, produced by AngelSquare for Les Echos. “The people who appear here are new actors with new profiles, explains Charles Degand, president and co-founder of AngelSquare. They were not visible at all four years ago, and the amounts they invest are now very significant.”

Above all, this cohort of investors marks its difference with a helpful approach to the startups they support. “They want to be involved in the life of the companies they support, and some even prefer to withdraw from a good opportunity if they can’t bring anything to it”, assures Charles Degand. They are in harmony with their ecosystem, share the same codes, do not waste the time of the entrepreneurs they fund. “They are quick in their decision-making, notes the head of AngelSquare. They rely on fundamental metrics and trust the business leader in front of them.”

A bigger mix

But one of the most striking points in this first generation ranking is the presence of women. Still in the minority, they appear, where their presence is nanoscopic among the most seasoned business angels. Céline Lazorthes and Tatiana Jama have paved the way, but we see personalities like Delphine Groll de Nabla emerging, who are starting to be active despite a career that is still young.

To explain the rise of this generation, the repetition of successes is the most obvious clue. But we must also understand the spirit of redistribution that characterizes it, as Charles Degand explains: “They have no problem communicating about this activity, not to show off their portfolio, but to assert the need to help new entrepreneurs.” This is one of the reasons why they are to a greater extent found in rounds of, for example, BtoC start-ups, which venture capitalists have largely neglected in their vast majority.

Romain Girbal and Thibault Launay, the leading duo

With financial support from Xavier Niel, the two men created Alliance Minière Responsable, a company to develop mining projects in Africa while respecting local communities and the environment. For three years, they have invested in fifteen start-ups with the aim of discovering and helping to hatch potential unicorns. The social network Yesomo and Pigzbe, the digital piggy bank for children, are particularly part of their portfolio.

Céline Lazorthes, the pioneer

After reselling Leetchi, the entrepreneur was able to venture into about twenty startups, including Pumkin, which has also been acquired by Arkéa, or The Galion Project, the startup think tank. His motives can be summed up in a mantra: “Give back, have fun and meet new people.”

Guillaume Lestrade, serial investor

The co-founder of Clan, an employee benefits management solution for businesses, has been investing in startups for a year. It has a capital of 16 start-up companies, in which it has invested a total of 400,000 euros. Guillaume Lestrade aims to “simplify the various markets where [il] invests”. Unkle, which vouches for tenants who do not meet market conditions, is the latest investment.

Arthur Leroy-Beaulieu, for the family

The founder of Family Office TFH, Arthur Leroy Beaulieu, has invested a total of 300,000 euros in 13 start-ups in two years. He recently entered the capital Pampa, a young shoot that delivers bouquets of flowers, fresh or dried, by bicycle.

Benjamin Dupay, Social Interest

Founder of Centimeo and president of Pépite Factory, the 28-year-old entrepreneur has injected 310,000 euros into eight start-ups over the past three years. The young business angel bets on impact investing, and wants to “contribute to the long-term development of activities that serve social interests”.

Dylan Deschamps, the youngest

With a first bet on Voodoo, the “gaming” rocket from French Tech, the youngest in the rankings has already demonstrated his flair for spotting potential champions. Since then, the founder of App4Media has made five other investments, most notably in AdMix, a start-up that creates non-intrusive ads in augmented or virtual reality environments.

Yann Leguillon, for karma

The co-founder of the Superprof platform admits that he invests in young startups, especially to work on his “karma”, invest with meaning and add risk to his wealth strategy, “has less impression of playing a coin toss than on a stock exchange “. Among the four projects he supports is Eeko, a podcast recommendation app.

Guillaume Gibault, gives back and learns

The president of Le Slip Français has invested 15,000 euros in the French ecosystem by entering the capital for 5 start-ups in two years. His most recent equity investment was in the start-up Yuka, which scans food or cosmetic products to find out their composition.


2,000,000 euros in 5 years.

1. ex-aequo ROMAIN GIRBAL
2,000,000 euros in 3 years.

2,000,000 euros in 3 years.

1,000,000 euros in 4 years.

700,000 euros in 3 years.

400,000 euros in one year.

310,000 euros in 3 years.

300,000 euros in 2 years.

300,000 euros in 4 years.

160,000 euros in less than a year.

40,000 euros in one year.

15,000 euros in 2 years.

*Source: AngelSquare

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