Armand Rousso

Armand Rousso, also known as Marc Rousso, is a French businessman. He is the founder of Accoona.com, a business-to-business search engine, and X3D Technology. He is the father of Vanessa Rousso, professional poker player and Big Brother contestant.

BiographyEdit

French born entrepreneur Armand Rousso settled in the United States in 1982, working as a trader of stamps. In 1985 he stated he bartered $45 million (catalog value) in rare stamps.[citation needed]

In 1986, when the Internet was little known entity, Rousso started an online stamp exchange website, The International Stamp Exchange, which lasted until 1990. The International Stamp Exchange was part of a network by David N. Glassman who created NaicoNet the first online retail online stock trading system. He thought online advertising revenues could be lucrative enough to make a business dedicated to philatelists profitable. Rousso and the ISE are profiled in the March 28, 1988 issue of New York Magazine.

In the mid 1990s, Rousso became involved with Philippe V. Hababou, a Frenchman convicted of check fraud. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money-laundering charges; in 1999, he was convicted of securities fraud in France and was also noted in the investigation over illegal campaign contributions to the 1996 Senate campaign of Robert G. Torricelli.[1]

Rousso was identified as having bought at auction the Treskilling Yellow, a unique Swedish postage stamp printed in the wrong color.[2] The stamp had been auctioned on 22 May 2010, by David Feldman in Geneva, Switzerland, for at least $2.3 million, the world's record price for a stamp at auction. In May 2013 the stamp was acquired in a private sale by Count Gustaf Douglas, a Swedish nobleman and politician.[3]

Accoona search engineEdit

Rousso was founder of Accoona, a B2B search engine. Launched in 2004 with former President Bill Clinton as chief announcer,[4] the company failed to gain any significant part of the search engine market, though the online electronics retailers it also owns did make the company money.[5] (Clinton reportedly made $700,000 for his Clinton Foundation in 2006 from selling Accoona stock.[6]) The initial $80.5 million offering was underwritten by Maxim Group. However, as The New York Times reported, "Accoona.com attracted only 106,000 visitors from the United States in July (2007), according to comScore, which monitors Internet traffic."[1] The underwriter withdrew, possibly as a result of Rousso's checkered past.[7] In 2008, the company was acquired by Masterseek.[4]

ChessEdit

Rousso is active in international chess and with his company X3D Technologies (which develops 3-D technology for the internet[8]) sponsored several World Championship Matches, including Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov (2002) and Garry Kasparov vs X3D Fritz (2003).[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Hansell, Saul (2007-08-22). "Misgivings Spoil Plans of Start-Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ John Finch, Mystery Owner of Treskilling Yellow Rarity Revealed, Entrepreneur and Fixture on the Philatelic Scene
  3. ^ Treskilling Yellow is back in the hands of a philatelist by Julia Lee, stampmagazine.co.uk, 1 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. Archived here.
  4. ^ a b Temple, David (2008-11-09). "B2B search engine Accoona acquired by Masterseek". Multilingual Search. Archived from the original on 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Arrington, Michael (2009-12-01). "Twing: Accoona's Final Disgrace". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Zajac, Andrew (2008-03-04). "Bill Clinton and the Midas touch: Stock deal benefiting his foundation among shrouded successes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Web search IPO stalls on underwriter doubts". CNN. 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Partnership formed on Chinese culture". Chinadaily.com. 2003-10-22. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Friedel, Frederic (2004-04-09). "Entrepreneur, philanthropist, chess aficionado". ChessBase.com. Retrieved 2009-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)