⬅ # 292 Ernest Garcia II|# 294 Piero Ferrari

# 293 Xavier Niel 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 4/11/2024
-$28.9M (-0.33%)

# 293 Xavier Niel 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 4/11/2024
-$28.9M (-0.33%)
OccupationFounder and Chair, Iliad
Source of WealthInternet, Telecom
ResidenceParis, France
Marital StatusSingle
Age-Adjusted Net Worth$11.6B
Xavier Niel
Xavier Niel
Net worth: $8.85B

Self-Made Score 

Wealth History

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Early Life

Xavier Niel was born on August 25, 1967, in France.
He grew up in a middle-class family with a father who worked as a lawyer for a pharmaceutical laboratory and a mother who was an accountant.
Niel received a Sinclair ZX81 computer from his father as a Christmas present at the age of 15, which sparked his interest in technology and entrepreneurship.
At 19, he dropped out of school and founded his first company, a Minitel service provider that provided chat services, ultimately making him a millionaire at the age of 24.

Early Ventures

In 1993, Niel co-founded WorldNet, France's first Internet service provider.
He sold WorldNet seven years later for $50 million.
In 1995, he invested in France's first Internet Service Provider, World-NET, which was sold for 30 million euros a year before the internet bubble burst.

Telecommunications Career

Niel launched the first reversed directory service on Minitel under Iliad SA in 1996, generating significant revenue until the end of Minitel in France in 2012.
In 1999, he founded Free, a French ISP known for offering free modem access and later introducing a broadband package and the Freebox.
He founded Online, a French hosting company, in 1999.
Niel created Free Mobile in 2012, offering unlimited voice calls, text, and data at competitive prices.
In 2017, he expanded into Italy with the launch of Iliad Italia, capturing a significant market share.
Through acquisitions and investments, Niel expanded his telecommunications empire, acquiring companies like Monaco Telecom, Salt Mobile SA, Eir, Vodafone Malta, and others.

Other Investments and Ventures

In 2010, Niel co-founded Kima Ventures, a fund dedicated to investing in startups worldwide.
He established 42, a tuition-free technical school, in 2013, aiming to train 1000 people annually.
Niel played a significant role in founding Station F, the world's largest startup incubator, inaugurated in 2017.
He acquired various media outlets including a stake in Groupe Le Monde, Groupe Nice-Matin, France-Antilles, and Paris-Turf.
Niel made investments in diverse sectors, including retail (Unieuro), artificial intelligence, and asset management.


Niel's holdings include telecom giant Iliad, Monaco Telecom, Salt Mobile SA, Eir, Vodafone Malta, and various media outlets like Groupe Le Monde and Groupe Nice-Matin.
He also owns stakes in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Unieuro, and has made investments in artificial intelligence and asset management.

Legal Issues and Awards

In 2004, Niel faced legal troubles related to alleged procuring and misuse of company assets, resulting in a month-long detention and subsequent legal proceedings.
He received awards recognizing his influence, including being named the seventh most influential personality in technology by Wired in 2015 and the most influential French person abroad by Vanity Fair in 2017.

Personal Life

Niel is in a domestic partnership with Delphine Arnault, a prominent French businesswoman and the daughter of Bernard Arnault.
He has a daughter with Delphine Arnault and two sons from a previous relationship.
Niel resides in Paris and owns properties including a mansion in Place des Vosges and a five-star hotel in Courchevel.

How long would it take you to become as rich as Xavier Niel?

If you started with $10,000 and invested an additional $500 each month at a 44.41% CAGR, it would take you 5 years to reach Xavier Niel's net worth of $8.85B.

Is this realistic? It depends how closely the VIX-TA-Macro Advanced model performs to its history in the future. Since Grizzly Bulls launched on January 1, 2022, it's returned 38.63% compared to 10.38% for the S&P 500 benchmark.

Enter data in all but one field below, then calculate the missing value

Xavier Niel is very wealthy, but what's stopping you from reaching that same level of success? As summarized in our five fundamental rules to wealth building, becoming wealthy in a modern capitalist economy is not complicated. There's actually only three variables:

  1. Your starting capital
  2. Your earnings after expenses
  3. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of your savings

Most people start with zero or very little, so if you weren't born into wealth, don't fret! The majority of the fortunate folks listed in our Grizzly Bulls’ Billionaires Index came from middle class or lower backgrounds. The most distinguishing characteristic of the group is their ability to consistently earn a high CAGR on their savings.

Every billionaire has a unique strategy to achieve high CAGR. For Xavier Niel, Internet and Telecom are the primary sources. Whether you choose to invest your savings in your own businesses or the businesses of others is not as important. The salient piece of the puzzle is ensuring that your hard-earned savings are generating sufficient CAGR to reach your long term goals.

Most people simply invest their money in index funds and call it a day. There's nothing wrong with this approach, but it guarantees relative mediocrity. To achieve greatness, you need to invest your money to earn higher than average returns. In the long run, better investors will always finish ahead of better earners.

Source: Grizzly Bulls reporting

Methodology: Grizzly Bulls' Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world's billionaires and richest people. Grizzly Bulls strives to provide the most accurate net worth calculations available. We pull data from public equity markets, SEC filings, public real estate records, and other reputable sources.

The index is dynamic and updates daily at the close of U.S. stock market trading based on changes in the markets, economy, and updates to Grizzly Bulls' proprietary algorithm of personal wealth calculation. Stakes in public companies are tracked daily based on the relevant closing prices of the underlying securities. Additionally, stakes in private companies, cash, real estate, and other less easily valued assets are updated periodically through careful analysis of insider transactions, comparable public company sales / EBITDA multiples, etc.

Edited by: Lee Bailey