1995 Birth of Kapitol
In March 1995 Marc Wahba, Alain Wahba, Liliane Sidis and Michaël Wellner founded Kapitol. A month later, the company published the first Belgian telephone directory on CD-Rom and set up the Infobel brand. In July that same year, Kapitol produced the first web edition of the Yellow Pages directory. At the same time, Infobel.be became Belgium's first e-commerce website, offering the first advertising campaign to be sold over a Belgian website.
1996 Kapitol expanded…
1996 saw the development of the unified B2C platform and the first version of B2B services based on the contents of telephone directories: verification of names and addresses, direct-marketing services, data enhancement, etc.
1997 Kapitol developed… in France
In 1997, Kapitol set out to conquer France. The company launched the first French telephone directory on CD-Rom (France Info) and, on the Internet, the first free reverse directory.
Expansion also proceeded apace in Belgium in relation to the product-range with the publication of the first business directory: Infobel Belgium Business, the result of collaboration between Kapitol and EuroDB (Reuters Group).
1998 Kapitol consolidated technologically within Benelux
Consolidation of its CD-Roms and the Internet technology gave Kapitol the impetus to launch a directory for all of Benelux: Infobel Benelux, the first multi-country telephone directory ever published in Europe.
1999 Kapitol continued its development in Spain and expanded its B2B services
After France and Benelux, Kapitol decided to move into Spain with a product developed specially for the Iberian market, Infobel España. At the same time, the company launched its website which, following in the footsteps of the Belgian and French portals, enjoyed huge and instant success. 1999 was also the year when Kapitol began developing a B2B platform to enable its customers to carry out searches or to verify addresses in the directory.
2000 Kapitol continued to grow…
After five years under family control, shareholders decided to open up Kapitol to outside investors in order to finance the company's anticipated growth. So, in May 2000, two major investors raised capital of 5 million euros: E-capital (see www.e-capital.be) and Ecofin (see www.ecofin.co.uk).
2001 Kapitol conquered Europe
On the strength of its experience in several European countries, in September 2001 Kapitol decided to launch the first pan-European multilingual telephone directory (in 7 languages), with some 130 million telephone subscribers and 15 million professional people, split into 3000 categories. That same year, Kapitol became a Microsoft.Net partner by developing its B2B platform using .Net technology.
2002 Kapitol concentrated on Business to Business
After several years of B2C and B2B developments, Kapitol decided to focus more on B2B services; in France it launched a business directory on CD-Rom: Infobel France Business, the first business directory on CD-ROM in France. The company also built up its expertise in the field of address-brokering by devising new products for its professional clients, meeting not only existing needs but providing new economic solutions to allow time savings.
2003 Kapitol acquired Scoot's Belgian and Dutch operations
Kapitol bought out Scoot Europe operations in Belgium and Netherlands. With this acquisition, Kapitol consolidated its presence on the market for sales of advertising in Belgian directories.
2004 Kapitol implemented its business strategy
Kapitol repositioned its B2B services, following the logic of a market undergoing rapid change. While still retaining its directory products, the Belgian company concentrated more on services to professionals (Telco, information services, banks, etc.):
- sale of address files;
- renting-out of address files;
- data services.
2005 Kapitol developed the Infobel European Business database
2005 saw the creation of the Infobel European Business database, listing some 26 million professionals across 25 European countries.
2006 Kapitol launched Infobel Pro and Infobel Plus for B2B client
Infobel Pro and Infobel Plus are two products based on XML technology, enabling their customers/users to gain access to a flexible tool which provides data that are always up-to-date.
Infobel Pro is a B2B solution that facilitates the integration of the Infobel search tool into many applications.
Infobel Plus is designed for end-users wishing to access a type of search that is more swift and versatile than those on the Web (extended or reverse searches), in an environment free of all advertising.
This novel tool aims to be rapid, effective and easily integrated into your house IT solutions.
2007 Kapitol offered a new solution that produces better references and really promotes its advertisers on the www.infobel.be website.
Kapitol launched a predictive on-line module on its website Infobel.be. With this tool, any company can find out how many times it has been seen at the Infobel website, also how it might increase its visibility by participating in an advertising offer.
2008 Kapitol collaborates with the biggest names
2008 will see several agreements being signed and sealed between Kapitol and large world players in Search Engines & Mobiles: Yahoo, MSN, Google, Mio, etc.