Xavier Niel’s profile picture

Xavier Niel

Xavier Niel’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $8.15 Billion
Industry: Telecom
Residence: Paris, France
Country: France
BirthDay: 25 August 1967
Sigh: Virgo
Children: 3

Xavier Niel was bornon 25 August 1967 in Paris, France, France. Xavier Niel is #195 in List Billionaires People In The World. Technology entrepreneur Xavier Niel owns nearly 55% of publicly-traded Iliad, the parent company of his telecom outfit Free. Free Mobile, which Niel launched in 2012, sells unlimited calls, texts and Internet for half the price of similar services sold by France's other three telecom networks. Niel continues to expand in Europe, particularly in Italy. Since disposing of a 15% stake in Telecom Italia, Iliad has agreed to buy assets from CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. and VimpelCom Ltd. to create a fourth mobile-phone network in Italy. His portfolio includes ownership of Monaco Telecom and Orange Switzerland, the latter of which he acquired in 2014 for $2.9 billion. Niel's first venture, WorldNet, was also France's first Internet provider. He started it in 1993 at age 25, and exited seven years later for more than $50 million. A former owner of a series of Parisian peep shows, Niel is now an established venture capitalist, funding technology startups through his Kima Ventures. In 2013, Niel created 42, an IT school designed to train computer specialists for free. He has also financed the construction of a $216 million startup incubator, Station F, which is set to open in Paris in April. He owns a controlling interest in French newspaper Le Monde.


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$8.15 Billion

Xavier Niel (born 25 August 1967) is a French entrepreneur and businessman, active in the telecommunications and technology industry and best known as founder and majority shareholder of the French Internet service provider and Mobile operator Iliad trading under the Free brand (France’s second-largest ISP, and third mobile operator). He is also co-owner of the newspaper Le Monde, and co-owner of the rights of the song "My Way" and owner of Monaco Telecom. He currently acts as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors & Chief Strategy Officer for Iliad.His net worth is about $7.4 billion USD.Xavier Niel was born in 1967 in the suburbs of Paris. Niel started early by developing telecommunication and data services and embarked at a young age on an entrepreneurial career soon after his father gave him a Sinclair ZX81 computer as a birthday present. At 19, he successfully created then sold his first company, a Minitel (a French forerunner of the internet) service company. This minitel-site provided sex oriented chat services. In 1995, he invested in the first Internet Service Provider in France, World-NET, created the previous year by Sébastien Socchard, Philippe Langlois and Pierre Séguret. This company was sold the year before the internet bubble burst.After taking over a company subsequently renamed Iliad, Xavier Niel launched in 1996 the 1st reversed directory service on the Minitel. This service is still responsible for 1 million euros of revenue per year for Iliad. Niel remains Iliad’s majority shareholder, holding 63.93% of the share capital.In 1999, he created Free, a French Internet service provider. The name came from the fact that modem access was really free, which caused some stir among other (non-free) French Internet providers, as well as it raised some questions about Free's business model. In 2002, Free launched a broadband package at a low price (€29.99 per month), which became the benchmark in the market. At the same time, Free developed and launched the Freebox: the first triple-play multi-service box in France. The free modem service had brought to the company a strong potential customers portfolio, many of them switching to the broadband for the sake of comfort.In March 2010, Xavier Niel cofounded with Jeremie Berrebi Kima Ventures, a fund dedicated to invest in 50 to 100 startups a year everywhere in the world. Kima Ventures already invested in 330 companies from February 2010 to August 2014 in 32 countries. Business Insider described Xavier Niel and Jeremie Berrebi as almost certainly the most active angel investors in the world.In late 2010 Niel was a member of a group of investors which acquired a controlling stake in the newspaper Le Monde.In 2012, he created Free Mobile, which revolutionizes mobile telephony in France, with a 25 US$ plan, including unlimited voice calls, text and data (3G/4G).In 2013, Xavier Niel created a school named 42, which is a free tech school with no teachers, no books, no tuition for 1000 people every year.In 2014, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) sold its 55% economic interest in Monaco Telecom to NJJ Capital, an investment vehicle controlled by Xavier Niel for US$445 million.On 28 May 2004, Xavier Niel was indicted and detained for a month for alleged procuring and misuse of company assets, which occurred in several sex shops in which he was a shareholder. On 30 August 2005, a Nolle prosequi was pronounced for the procuring part of his indictment, but on 13 October 2006, he was given a 2 years suspended prison sentence for the misuse of company assets. Media related to Xavier Niel at Wikimedia Commons
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