The French business angels are the ones who have put their money, knowledge and professionalism into a number of startups. They are the people who understand what it really means to run a company and help others to do it successfully. There are quite a few successful business angels in France who have invested their time and money into various startups of different kinds. Here are 10 most successful French business angels that have been active in the last decade.
Jacques-Antoine Granjon is a French entrepreneur who founded Vente-Privée.com, one of the biggest online retailers in Europe. He's also known for being one of the top 10 French business angels for startups and entrepreneurs.
After studying at the École Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines de Paris, Granjon worked as an engineer before becoming a stockbroker. In 2001, he founded Vente-Privée.com, which sells clothes and other products through flash sales. The company now has over 3 million members, 1,000 employees and a $1bn annual turnover.
- Granjon has been involved in many startups including:
- Leetchi.com, an online money collection service
- Moontoast, a marketing platform for social media
- Yugma, a web conferencing service
- He is also an advisory board member of Business Angels France and often mentors entrepreneurs in Europe and the US.
Sure, you can call Xavier Niel a "business angel", but that wouldn't do him justice.
The man behind Free, the third-largest ISP in France, has been called a "tech godfather", an "Internet visionary", and "the most visible and powerful of French entrepreneurs". He's also been dubbed the "French Bill Gates" for his ability to turn startups into successful businesses and for his passion for mentoring young entrepreneurs.
But perhaps the best way to describe him is as a true business angel. His investment group Kima Ventures has invested in over 800 companies, including Spotify and Blablacar. He also founded 42, a coding school known as "the Google of coding schools". And he's neither a coder nor an engineer himself.
Yet he's considered one of the world’s top 10 business angels for startups and entrepreneurs who want to make it big in the tech world.
To help you find a business angel who can help your startup grow, we've rounded up a list of the top French business angels for startups and entrepreneurs.
- Michel Akkermans is the CEO of Cofinimmo, a Belgian firm. He has invested in Angelor, an online jewelry store, and he's also one of the founders of Capricorn Venture Partners, a private equity firm in Belgium that invests in tech startups. Akkermans was part of the team that raised $25 million for KBC Private Equity in 2007.
- Jean-Luc Verhelst is an entrepreneur and investor who founded several companies including Genius, an education platform; and Uptime, a real-time data analytics company. He is also the founder of Startups Factory in Brussels, which helps European startups grow their businesses.
- Arnaud Muller is a serial entrepreneur who founded TheFamily, which helps entrepreneurs build successful companies by connecting them with mentors and resources they need to succeed. Muller has invested in more than 100 startups and he's also part-owner of Eworks Digital Solutions (a digital marketing agency) and My Little Paris (an online fashion retailer).
Marc Simoncini's name is synonymous with French business angel investing. His company, Jaïna Capital, has an incredible track record of helping startups and entrepreneurs bring their products to market.
Simoncini's story is one of incredible growth that started from an initial focus on a niche market. He founded Meetic in 2001 and sold it in 2005 for $20 million. From there, he turned his interest toward the Internet of Things, investing in over 50 companies including Sigfox and Withings. In 2013, he began to focus on the mobile app industry, investing in companies like Voodoo, Aircall, and Scootsy. He has also invested in several major global names: Snapchat, Uber, BlaBlaCar, Spotify, Delivery Hero, Zendesk, and more.
In addition to his work as an investor through Jaïna Capital, Simoncini is also the founder of Schoolab and Station F—two organizations that provide support to French entrepreneurs.
Simoncini's investments are highly sought after by entrepreneurs across France because of his impressive track record of early-stage investments that end up being extremely successful.
This is a friendly email to Pascal Cagni, one of the top 10 French business angels for startups and entrepreneurs:
- I'm writing because I wanted to reach out and let you know about an upcoming opportunity for you.
- We're an up-and-coming startup that's looking for some new investors. We've already been featured on the BBC, TechCrunch, and Buzzfeed for the work we're doing on our platform. We are a bit of an anomaly in the tech world because we seek to gain profits by helping other startups succeed.
- In addition to our platform, we also offer consulting services that help companies with their long-term sales projections and other business planning needs.
- I'm reaching out because I think your experience as a top French business angel would make you a great fit for our company. We can't wait to see what you make with us!
French business angels are investors who use their own capital to fund startups. They tend to be entrepreneurs and professionals who are looking for ways to diversify their portfolios and make investments in innovative, up-and-coming companies. There are dozens of French business angels, but these 10 stand out among the rest.
- Jean de La Rochebrochard: Jean de La Rochebrochard has invested in over 20 startups, including Docapost, which offers customized services to companies that need help with management and digital processes. He is also a board member of the French Association of Business Angels and the president of AFIC (the alternative investment funds association).
- Philippe Collombel: Philippe Collombel is a pioneer in tech startups in France and one of the first business angels to fund internet companies in Europe. He is also on the board of the French Association of Business Angels and was president of Telemedia Invest until 2007.
- Fabrice Grinda: Fabrice Grinda launched several startups, including Aucland, which was acquired by eBay for $250 million; Zingy, which went public; and OLX, which sold for $200 million. For his success as an entrepreneur and investor, he has been called.
Want to start your own business, but you don't have the capital? Business angels can help. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that one of the hardest parts of starting a business is finding investors. Well, we're here to make it easier for you. We've compiled a list of the top ten French business angels for startups and entrepreneurs. Feel free to reach out to them if you think they can be helpful.
- Marc Meurin: As co-founder of Sandbox Network and the Sandbox Ventures fund, Marc Meurin has invested in over 30 startup companies through his career. He's also well known as an early investor in Airbnb, Dropbox, and Minted.
- Marc Simoncini: Founder of Meetic, Marc Simoncini is one of France's most prominent angel investors by volume of investment. He invests in e-commerce and Internet technology companies, with a focus on early-stage startups.
- Jean-David Chamboredon: This angel investor has helped finance more than 20 startups over the course of his career. He was an early investor in Criteo and Deezer, among others.
Bruno Patino is a serial entrepreneur who founded Fotolia, the world's largest stock photo website, in 2005. Since then, he has invested in and mentored over 100 startups through his company Kima Ventures. He is passionate about helping young entrepreneurs and is known for his friendly and approachable demeanor.
Bruno is often listed among the top French business angels, and was recently named one of the top ten French business angels for startups.
Xavier Niel and Nicolas Brusson
Xavier Niel and Nicolas Brusson are a pair of French business angels that have had a huge impact on the startup and entrepreneur community in France. Niel is the founder of Free, a popular Internet service provider, and has invested in companies like Le Monde, Meetic, and Deezer. He also founded Station F, which is the biggest startup campus in the world.
Brusson is the co-founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar, an online ride-share platform that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers who want to travel long distances at affordable prices.
Arnaud De Puyfontaine
Arnaud de Puyfontaine is a top French business angel for startups, and one of the best in the world at helping entrepreneurs. He is known for his work with companies including M6, Canal+, Webedia and NextRadioTV.
He grew up in the Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers and began his career as a journalist, working at the advertising company Havas and later taking over as editor-in-chief of Le Journal du Dimanche. He then spent several years in the UK working at companies including EMAP and United Business Media, before returning to France to launch the Financial Times' French edition. He was then CEO of Europe 1, before moving on to become chairman of L'Express.
From 2011 to 2015, de Puyfontaine worked as CEO of Vivendi SA and was responsible for expanding its content portfolio through acquisitions such as Activision Blizzard. In 2015, he became CEO of Webedia Group and helped it expand into new markets including Brazil, India and Italy.
De Puyfontaine has also served on the boards of several major companies including M6, NextRadioTV and Webedia. In addition to these roles, he is a member of the Strategic Committee for Digital Development at BPI France
These are the top 10 French business angels to know if you are an entrepreneur or looking for investment
French business angels, who are often referred to as angel investors or angel financiers, are wealthy individuals who provide capital for a business start-up.
Entrepreneurs are often in need of financial support to get their new company off the ground, and many find it through business angels. Business angels invest their own money in businesses they believe have potential for growth and success.
According to the French Association of Business Angels (AFAB), there were 1,100 active French business angels in 2018, compared to just 500 in 2008. The sector has been growing steadily over the last decade and this has led to more opportunities for startups looking for investment.
As is the case with most businesses seeking investment, French entrepreneurs may find it difficult to secure funding from business angels if they don't know where to look. That's why we've created this list of the top 10 French business angels to know if you're an entrepreneur or looking for investment.
As a result we have compiled a list of ten top French business angels who have invested in startups and businesses. These are the top French business angels in terms of the number of startups they have funded. The criteria includes the amount invested, allowing easier identification of top French business angels for startups and entrepreneurs who can be reached by contacting them directly.