After Cupid, social gaming

Friday 9th March 2012
Team Bill Dobbie and Max Polyakov: site builders who plan judicious exits

The sale of 14.8% of the company, comes just days after Cupid revealed that Max Polyakov, its business development director, has quit to launch a social gaming business in the United States where he expects to grow the firm’s presence from three staff to about eight.

Polyakov is in agreement with US Business Insider which goes on record  that Social Gaming  will reach a $5bn market by 2015. 

Dobbie and Polyakov each sold 6m shares at 180p each to institutional investors. Dobbie retains 13.8m shares, some 17% of the company, while Mr Polyakov has 12.6m, or 15.5% and is prevented from selling any more shares until June 30, 2013 needing Cupid's permission to make disposals for another year.

The sale reports The Herald comes less than two years after the team brought Easydate (clashed with EasyJet) and moved into other dating site names to fix on Cupid. Earlier this week Cupid more than doubled its revenues in the 2011 calendar year to £53.6m, pre-tax profits rising 67% to £7m on growth experienced in France, Italy and Spain markets.

Dobbie previously co-founded Teledata (sold to Scottish Telecom); Scottish data storage firm, Iomart. He started up DVDs 365 (sold to Love Film) where he connected with Max Polyakov and his software house, going on as a team to create web analytics software Hit Dynamics (sold to Experian) and Maximiser.

One of the more acute methods of parleying up monetisation is to create multiple slightly differential sites that link to companion sites, providing a sales gallery of boutique offerings, of which Cupid is currently an exemplary case study.

He is currently executive chairman of Idecapital, with a portfolio that includes some 11 web companies, as well as an angel investor having stakes in mobile phones games specialist Tag Games run by Paul Farley; London Voucherbag which owns CompareMoreDeals  aggregator site for daily deals websites.


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