The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Yann Kandelman, Orange Digital Ventures

There are few areas of venture finance as exciting as financial services – fintech – and Africa and France-based phone operator Orange has tackled both under Yann Kandelman, head of Orange’s digital investments and development teams.

He said: “2017 has been our third year as a CVC and we have experienced a major take off of our initiative: in addition to launching a new fund dedicated to Africa, where we believe Orange has substantial assets to help startups become pan-African champions, we invested in three new startups [Android transactions service Famoco, UK online bank Monzo’s $93m round and mobile service provider FollowAnalytics’ $11m round] in three different countries and participated in four new funding rounds of our portfolio companies [Actility, BandwidthX, Datami and Monzo].

“Over these three years, we have proven that investing in startups with a CVC arm brings the right balance between flexibility, engagement and strategic matters in order to give the ability to both corporate and startups to create more value together. Obviously, all this requires a lot of work to bridge the two worlds of startups ecosystem and our corporate teams, which is something we are striving to improve everyday at Orange Digital Ventures.”

Orange Digital Ventures has also exited one of its portfolio company in this short time. La Banque Postale acquired KissKissBankBank in June 2017.

But Orange’s main activity has been in supporting its portfolio companies with the parent business. Actility is working with Orange’s business-to-business services in order to provide internet of things (IOT) connectivity and services. Afrimarket works with Orange Cote d’Ivoire in order to sell Orange products on its platform. Famoco provides thousands of devices and mobile device management through its platform to Orange affiliates in Europe and Africa mainly for mobile money and know your customer (KYC) use cases.

With such expansion has come growth in the team, with Laetitia de Panafieu and Marième Diop hired as associates in France and Senegal and Manon Caussade as a senior analyst.

Kandelman’s own career at Orange started in 2008 initially in audience partnerships then as head of digital development from 2012. Earlier, he had spent a decade working for other corporations, including Warner Music Group, EMI and Philips.