One of the most well-known names behind the online dating scene, Max Polyakov, has called time on the industry and decided to seek ventures new in the US after a successful two years with business partner Bill Dobbie as co-owner of CupidPlc.
Those who have been on the dating scene for a while may know the firm as Easydate, the name of the company before Bill and Max took the public limited company from commanding £0.60 per share before they joined forces to a peak of £2.60 in June of last year. News of Max’s departure from his role as business development director saw the shares dip below the £2.00 mark from it’s prior price of £2.04 to £1.95, a drop of 4.4%. However, as Dobbie and Polyakov each disposed of six million shares slightly below that value at £1.80 each as a sign of the parting of the waves; both have a healthy return of £10.8M each following Max’s decision to turn his renowned talent to launching a social gaming venture in America. The pair retain 13.8 million and 12.6 million shares respectively, with Polyakov unable to release any more share capital for sale for almost fifteen months and will need to seek CupidPlc’s permission further to sell any more stock after that next milestone of June 30th, 2013.
The business behind the many dating sites which are part of their portfolio is still in an exceptionally healthy position. So much so that the beneficiaries of the new shares are institutional investors, chosen partners that a spokesman for the dating site parent company said had been a very deliberate consideration.
It may well be that, having seen revenue double in 2011 to £53.6 million, within that figure an increase of two thirds in pre-tax profit up to £7M, the business needs some shrewd investment quality to maximise the potential of that much capital. Polyakov will still have a silent interest in the venture as the remaining shares he holds represents a 15.5% holding, with Dobbie’s shares give him a remnant 17%. But the industry is mourning the loss of a true character inn Max who’s knowledge of online dating has provided massive impetus behind CupidPlc’s recent successes.
It remains to be seen how the shake up affects the non-financial stakeholders in the business, those who do the day to day dating marketing for the firms under the CupidPlc umbrella (believe me, I’m very interested in how that particular aspect pans out!) or if it will at all.
Mark Brooks of Courtland Brooks, the company behind Online Personals Watch, reiterated how much Max will be missed, given that, in the early days Easydate as was was Courtland Brooks client. The thought of CupidPlc without Max there would be ‘tough to imagine’ as he was the ‘driving force’ of the dating site owner’s growth since the business’ concept.
We will bring you news of how the new ownership will affect the world of dating as and when the investors have their feet underneath the table.