Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur, founder of seven companies over the course of his career.
In 1984, while still in college, Martin started his first business, Urban Capital Corporation, one of the early leaders of the loft movement in downtown Manhattan.
This was soon followed in 1986 by Medicorp Services, a Canadian biotechnology company, a pioneer in AIDS and PSA testing.
Martin's third business, Viatel Ltd., Martin’s first venture into the world of telecom, was founded in 1990. This company is best known for inventing call back and building the first pan European fiber optic network ahead of liberalization.
Martin’s best-known ventures were founded during the last decade. In 1998, Martin started Jazz Telecomunicaciones (Jazztel), Spain’s second largest publicly traded telecom operator.
In 1999 Martin founded Ya.com, Spain’s third largest internet web site/DSL provider that includes the second largest Spanish language web agency www.viajar.com. But not all of Martin’s companies were successful.
In 2000, Martin started Germany’s leading cloud computing company, Einsteinet, and the company was sold in 2003 at no return to him or investors.
Martin’s current venture is Fon. With over 13 million hotspots, Fon is the largest WiFi network in the world. The company is headquartered in Madrid, Spain but its customers are worldwide, in Asia, Europe and the USA. Its investors include Atomico, British Telecom, Coral Group, Skype, Google, and Index Ventures.
Martin manages the Varsavsky Foundation and is best known as the founder of two large educational projects in Latin America – Educ.ar (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile) and the Safe Democracy Foundation.
Martin was Ambassador at Large of Argentina from 2001 to 2005. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and is a Member of the Board of Direcyors at Instituto de Empresa, Spain’s leading business school, where he taught entrepreneurship for eight years. Since 2012 he teaches entrepreneurship at Columbia University and New York University.
In 2014 Martin joined the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer, the largest media company in Germany.
Martin has written numerous articles on business and international relations that have been published in several international publications including El Pais and Newsweek. Martin is also a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and an active blogger. He is the recipient of various honors and rewards.
Martin received his B,A, from New York University, and holds a M,A, in International Affairs and a M,A, in Business Administration from Columbia University. In his spare time, Martin enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, piloting, photography and sailing.
Martin is married to Nina Varsavsky and has six children.
Co-Founder & CEO
Jun, 2015 - Current (over 1 year)
Jan, 2014 - Current (almost 3 years)
Sep, 2012 - Current (about 4 years)
Jan, 2006 - Current (almost 11 years)
Board & Advisor Roles (3)Update
|Jan, 2015||MUBI||$15M / Series D||Personal Investment|
|Dec, 2012||SmartThings||$3M / Seed||Personal Investment|
|Sep, 2012||Pixowl||$1.2M / Seed||Personal Investment|
|Apr, 2011||Busuu||undisclosed amount / Angel||Personal Investment|
|Jan, 2011||MUBI||$2.4M / Undisclosed||Personal Investment|
|Jun, 2008||Sonico||$4.3M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Apr, 2008||Fon||€6M / Series C||Personal Investment|
|Nov, 2007||Seesmic||$6M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Sep, 2007||Dopplr||undisclosed amount / Seed||Personal Investment|
|Jan, 2007||Teads||$5.3M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Mar, 2006||Netvibes||$1M / Seed||Personal Investment|
|Jan, 2006||Plazes||€1M / Angel||Personal Investment|
|Mar 30, 2016||Edukwest - Livemocha Shutdown – What Went Wrong|
|Nov 2, 2015||Market Wired - Top - iPass Enters Into Strategic Partnership With Fon That Will See Nine Million New Wi-Fi Hotspots Added to Its Global Network|
|Jun 20, 2015||The Next Web - Google Campus Madrid gets ready to incubate a new Spain|
|Jun 15, 2015||Novo Brief (Spain) - Martin Varsavsky steps down as CEO of Fon, names Alex Puregger (COO) as his successor|
|Mar 27, 2015||Tech Cocktail - The Best Quotes from MIA Music Summit 2015|
|Mar 2, 2015||Venture Village - Events Diary 2 – 8 March – our pick of the hottest startup events this week|
|Feb 23, 2015||Venture Village - Events Diary 23 February – 1 March – our pick of the hottest startup events this week|
|Jan 27, 2015||Business Wire India - GSMA Announces New Keynote Speakers for Mobile World Congress 2015|