Xavier Niel is the majority shareholder and the historic leader of the Iliad Group. A self-taught entrepreneur, he has been a player in the telematics, Internet and telecommunications industries since the late 1980s.
In 1993, he notably co-founded Worldnet, the leading Internet access provider in France before devoting himself fully to the development of the Iliad Group where he launched 3617 ANNU, the first reverse directory service on Minitel in 1996 and Free, the first free access provider in France in 1999.
In 2002, Xavier Niel created the Freebox, the first multi-service set-top box providing access to « triple play » (internet-phone-TV) in the home. Since January 2012, Free has brought mobile phone usage within everyone’s reach with straightforward, no-contract offerings at very attractive prices. Free has over 5.7 million broadband subscribers and over 9 million mobile subscribers (as at June 30, 2014)
Xavier Niel is the controlling shareholder of the newspapers Le Monde since 2010 and Le Nouvel Observateur since 2014, along with Pierre Bergé and Matthieu Pigasse.
At the same time, Xavier Niel has also been investing significantly for years in internet start-ups. In March 2010, he founded his own investment fund, Kima Ventures, which invests in 50-100 start-ups per year, worldwide.
In 2013, Xavier Niel launched in conjunction with 3 other partners, 42 – a free IT university open to everyone and aimed at training 1,000 developers a year.
He also announced the launch in 2016 of the world’s largest digital incubator, which will be called 1000 start-ups@laHalle Freyssinet and will be based at the Halle Freyssinet building in Paris.
Xavier Niel is based in Paris, France
Follow him on Twitter @Xavier75
Editor for ZDNet France in 1996, Jeremie co-founded one of the first French internet success stories in 1997. This was Net2one, a sophisticated news search and clipping tool which was the #1 newsletter distributor in the French speaking world. It was sold to the TNS Group (UK) in 2004.
In 2006 he co-founded and was the driving force behind another company, Zlio.com. Zlio enabled users to create their own shops and sell goods from other e-commerce services. Members could stock their store with over three million products and earn commissions on every item purchased from their Zlio Shop.
In 2010, he co-founded Kima Ventures with Xavier Niel, even though he was already a shareholder in more than 20 startups all around the world before Kima was created.
Jeremie is based in Bnei Brak, Israel
More info on angel.co/jberrebi
Follow him on Twitter @jberrebi.
Jeremie Berrebi left Kima Ventures in May 2015
Michel Sassano joined Kima Ventures as an Associate in 2013.
He studied at Telecom Bretagne and Grenoble Ecole de Management.
Prior to Kima Ventures, Michel co-founded a mobile development studio in 2009, worked as an engineer at Orange (formerly France Telecom) in Paris and as a product manager and marketing intern at Wooga in Berlin.
Michel is based in Paris, France
Follow him on Twitter @SassanoM.
Vincent Jacobs joined Kima Ventures as an Associate in 2013.
After living in six different countries, he studied economics at the University of Leuven in Belgium.
Previously he has worked for an early-stage startup in London called Smarkets, building a betting exchange platform, and for Seedcamp, Europe’s leading micro-seed investment and mentoring program.
Vincent is based in London, UK.
Follow him on Twitter @Vincejaco.