Jacques-Antoine Granjon is a French entrepreneur who made his fortune on the Internet with his e-commerce site Veepee, and he figures prominently in the ranking of the richest men in France, with an estimated heritage of more than ‘one and a half billion euros. His atypical allure and his outspokenness stand out in the rather hushed universe of the big French bosses. Thus, the businessman based in Paris exhibits endless hair enhanced with a beard of a few days, and he also sometimes goes to the office in a pink Bentley. As he explains himself: “It is better to have long and clean hair than short and dirty”.
Entrepreneurship in The Blood
Jacques-Antoine Granjon comes from a family of entrepreneurs in Marseille, and his uncle is also the founder of the multinational subcontractor for collective catering, Sodexo.
Born in Marseille in 1962, the young Granjon did not have an exemplary education, despite his parents sending him to the best private Parisian establishments such as the Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague or the Institution Notre- Lady of the Holy Cross. The Marseillais had to do it twice before getting his baccalaureate, proof that he was not very passionate about studies. He then attended a business school of the 15 th arrondissement, the European Estonia Email List Business School while taking full advantage of the delights offered by Parisian nights.
It is also in discotheque that he meets professionals of the sales sector, which arouse his interest. So much so that he decides, in the company of a classmate called Julien Sorbac, to launch an assault on this niche in which he sees great possibilities. The two accomplices created the Cofotex company in 1985 and began to buy back unsold stocks from major brands and then sell them to destocking brands. One thing led to another, they became the French leaders in the sector and during 1996, the company left the center of Paris and moved to La Plaine – Saint-Denis in the 93,
The Digital Revolution with Vente-Privee
It was at the turn of the century that Jacques-Antoine Granjon’s business took on a new dimension. However, his first experience in the Internet world will prove to be a failure. Thus, in 2000, he acquired 20% of the capital of the Internet platform Just Trade It, which connects discounters and brands. A few months later, and despite an investment of up to one million euros, the company ceased its activity.
The genius of Granjon is not to abandon the idea, but on the contrary to continue to believe in digital as a growth vector for e-commerce. Without delay, he founded Vente-privee at the beginning of 2001 along with several other partners. The principle behind this start-up is simple: help big brands to sell their end of stock quickly and efficiently.
The problem is that in the early 2000s, both businesses and consumers were not yet mentally ready to move online, and Vente-privee got off to a rocky start, losing a lot of money in the process. of the first three exercises. Granjon, the boss, even brings up the idea of stopping everything. But in 2003, suddenly, the tide will turn and it is a wholesale lingerie sale that will popularize the site. It clicks and Vente-privee begins to find its audience and is now involved in all possible segments: concert tickets, wines, clothing, travel, etc.
Become number 1 in destocking in France,Vente-privee set out to conquer the European market in 2006 and the American market in 2011 in association with American Express. The platform is no longer limited to destocking and offers exclusive music for the release of Patricia Kaas and Iggy Pop albums, for example. Some ready-to-wear brands even design special collections reserved for the e-commerce site created by JA Granjon.
The Commercial Success Helping
Vente-privee expands in Europe during the decade 2010 by acquiring Privalia, a Spanish sales site and by taking a substantial stake in Eboutic.ch, a Swiss site.
A big change takes place when the platform changes its name in January 2019 and becomes “Veepee”. Currently, the company headed by Jacques-Antoine Granjon is approaching 4 billion euros in annual turnover, half of which comes from foreign markets. Veepee is a leader in Europe and Latin America and employs more than 6,000 people in 14 different countries.
When we talk about the giant Amazon and the threat it represents in the presence of the boss of Veepee, he retorts that the American platform and his company do not do the same job. He thus claims that Amazon responds to needs, while Veepee is more of a type of impulse purchase. Regarding a possible IPO or sale of Veepee, Granjon guarantees that his company has sufficient cash and does not have the need for the moment to carry out such an operation. And since he wants to continue to see his creation mature and grow, giving up Veepee is not part of his plans.
Ja Granjon, a Multifaceted Businessman
Like many other successful entrepreneurs, Granjon is not the type of man to settle for a single activity.
In 2011, for example, he created the EEMI, European School of Internet Professions in association with two other big names in French digital business: Xavier Niel and Marc Simoncini.
The native of Marseille is also unsurprisingly become a sought-after investor. It has thus supported the start-up of French start-ups such as Keecker or Festicket. Again in the company of Niel and Simoncini, in 2013 he organized a competition called “101 start-ups” where 101 young shoots from the digital sector were selected and received an endowment of 25,000 euros each. Always with the same friends, Granjon personally invests the sum of 3 million euros in a French hi-fi equipment company, Devialet.