What is Royaltiz, the platform promoted by Cyril Hanouna?

Cyril Hanouna promoted Royaltiz on X (formerly Twitter), a site which offers to invest in stars. The company’s financial mechanisms are criticized by some users, but Royaltiz defends its action, and believes that it does not break the law.

My darlings, I have big news to tell you. In 2024, I enter the stock market. » This is whatdeclared Cyril Hanouna on X (ex-Twitter) to his subscribers on March 17, 2024. The message does not concern the host’s entry into Wall Street, but his arrival on Royaltiz, a unique investment platform of its kind. The company, on which Cyril Hanouna had “ a huge crush “, allow ” not to invest in (sic) companies, but to invest in talents. So you will be able to invest in me. »

His message doesn’t stop there. “ Royaltiz is the new unicorn. It’s a company that’s going to be a hit. », he asserts with confidence, and referring to the status granted to startups valued at more than a billion dollars. What Cyril Hanouna forgets to mention is that in addition to being “ a talent » on the platform, in which users will be able to invest, is that he also took a stake in the company in 2023 – and that the Royaltiz platform is controversial.

What is Royaltiz?

Royaltiz is an investment platform created in 2021 by the French Kevin Crouvizier and Christophe Vattier. Their concept is simple: rather than investing in companies, Royaltiz offers to invest in “ talents », that is to say athletes, influencers, or even musicians. If the idea is clear, it is the way in which investments work that poses a problem.

To be able to bet on their favorite star or influencers, users must buy “ROY”, the site’s currency. [il ne s’agit cependant pas d’une crypto-monnaie, ndlr]. Each talent has its own ROY, the price of which varies: those of MMA fighter Benoit Saint-Denis sell for 11.75 euros, those of tennis player Benoit Paire at 1.34 euros.

On Royaltiz, the value of Benoit Saint-Denis is decreasing // Source: Royaltiz / Numerama screenshot
On Royaltiz, the value of Benoit Saint-Denis is decreasing // Source: Royaltiz / Numerama screenshot

Royaltiz then allows, as for classic stock securities, to trade, that is to say to sell and buy ROY according to the price fluctuation, or to keep them, and to benefit from the ” yield ”, a rate of return paid monthly — like dividends. What truly differentiates Royaltiz from traditional investment platforms is that here, users bet on humans, the “ ultimate asset class ”, as the platform summarizes.

A controversial platform

Royaltiz is at the center of several controversies and numerous criticisms, particularly on social networks. According to YouTuber Yann Pellenard, who made a first positive video on Royaltiz, there is thus “ lots of red flags », warning signals. In a second video, made after a few months of use, he says he lost a large part of his investment, but above all denounces an opaque system. According to him, the affiliation system would push influencers to praise the Royaltiz system without having the necessary perspective, the platform would not show enough losses, the number of ROY attributed to each talent would not be the same, which would distort the values , not to mention the fact that the platform would only put up for sale a very small part of its ROY, keeping a majority for itself.

Transaction fees on the platform are also very high: Royaltiz takes 5% of the sum of each transaction, plus one euro. Finally, as another YouTuber, Education Finance, points out, the ROYs would in fact only be speculative assets: the contracts signed between Royaltiz and the talents would indicate that the latter did not at all commit to transmitting part of their future earnings. to the platform. The ROYs would therefore not entitle you to anything, according to the videographer.

Claims denied by Aymeric Granet, the general director of Royaltiz, contacted by telephone by Numerama. First of all, ” Cyril Hanouna announced last year that he was becoming a shareholder of Royaltiz. he rewinds, even though the host did not repeat this information in his new video. “There is no desire for concealment on our part.»

You will soon be able to buy ROY from Cyril Hanouna // Source: Numerama screenshot / RoyaltizYou will soon be able to buy ROY from Cyril Hanouna // Source: Numerama screenshot / Royaltiz
You will soon be able to buy ROY from Cyril Hanouna // Source: Numerama screenshot / Royaltiz

The director of Royaltiz also wants to clarify that there are two different types of contracts for talents. In the first case, it is a contract established with stars already well established, “ and whose income we do not have access to. As we do not have the capacity to audit financial performance, we aggregate a certain amount of public and semi-public data in order to have estimates “, he says. In this type of contract, “ the evolution of income and activity on social networks will allow us each month to determine the amount of return and whether it has decreased or increased “. Returns are paid directly by Royaltiz. This is where the algorithm is used, to simulate income.

The other contract is designed for emerging talents, explains Aymeric Granet. “ There, we have access to the income from the talent, and there it is not us who pay the returns, but the talent directly, because it is he who receives the money from the ROY. Depending on its performance, it will pay a return to users or not. “.

The problem is that this fundamental difference is not specified on the site, nor on the talent profiles, fueling confusion about how Royaltiz works. Another element that is not indicated: the financial risks posed by the system, particularly in ROY trading. “ Yes, users can make capital gains and losses, and in this case we can lose », recognizes Aymeric Granet.

However, he insists, “ investors cannot lose money on returns “. The site guarantees payouts between 2 and 50% — but here too, there is a subtlety. For contracts established with big names, Royaltiz pays the sums directly to the users, but in the case of emerging talents, it is up to them to do so. However, if they ever experience significant difficulties, “ they pay nothing to their investors, if they do not have the means to do so », admits Aymeric Granet.

On the Royaltiz website, the ROYs of many athletes // Source: Numerama screenshot On the Royaltiz website, the ROYs of many athletes // Source: Numerama screenshot
On the Royaltiz website, the ROYs of many athletes // Source: Numerama screenshot

For the criticisms concerning the opacity of the price calculation, the director explains that “ the setting of the ROY price is only done by supply and demand, it is something extremely transparent “. As for the ROYs which have not yet been put up for sale, it would be a question of providing room for growth for talents, he assures.

Did Cyril Hanouna respect the influence law?

Cyril Hanouna’s message did not go unnoticed: it notably provoked a reaction from MP Arthur Delaporte, who spoke on his account (ex-Twitter) on Sunday March 17, 2024 to denounce him. “ This type of message is not only contrary to influencer law because it does not display commercial intent. [un premier message de Cyril Hanouna, depuis supprimé, ne mentionnait pas la collaboration commerciale, mais la deuxième vidéo de l’animateur le précise, ndlr]is extremely dangerous », he writes. Indeed, “ it encourages people to make very risky investments. »

In addition to this first oversight, Arthur Delaporte notes that “ advertising risky financial products without any announcement of risk and moreover without being registered with the AMF, is prohibited “. Indeed, the influencer law, passed in 2023, very strictly regulates what content creators can promote, particularly with regard to financial products.

However, Aymeric Granet refutes these accusations. “ The company was launched in 2021, and before that we sent a file to the AMF [autorité des marchés financiers, ndlr], and she told us that we were not considered a financial product by European law. We were therefore able to launch without being regulated “, he says. Thus, Royaltiz products would not be affected by the financial aspect of the influence law. Practical.

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