In the ranking of Forbes “200 richest businessmen,” Andrey Andreev took 44-th place with a fortune of $2.3 billion to Do business, he started in the late 1990s. In 1999, launched the web Analytics service Spylog, in 2002, created the service of contextual advertising “Runner”, 80% of which a year later was sold to “Finam”. In 2004, Andreev created a Dating site “Mamba”, and it brought him his first serious capital. In 2005, the “Mamba” bought the same “Finam” for $20 million of the Proceeds Andreev was enough to launch in 2006, Badoo Dating service with headquarters in London. In 2014, entrepreneur together with Whitney Wolfe has created American Dating service Bumble. Investing in the business $10 million, he received 78,21% of the share capital of the company. And in 2017, Bumble estimated at $1 billion Dollar billionaire Andreev became in 2018, its condition Forbes estimated then at $1.5 billion in the Fall of 2018 Andreev announced that his group of companies plans to hold an IPO on NASDAQ.
In Russia, Andreev has not been since 2008. If you ask him why, he replied: “I Have a lot of traveling through America and Europe associated with the business.” To communicate with journalists, the businessman does not like to say that he prefers to do tech, and not to give interviews.
Bloomberg was calling you Zuckerberg, but not one Facebook and multiple. How do you feel about this comparison? Because Badoo is also conceived as a social network.
Badoo was started spontaneously in the 2006-2007 year, we did not understand how to do it. When we had the first tens of millions of users, it was too late to change anything, everything is already rolling. It was something like a night club where there were a lot of students hang out. If in the past I have done projects and sold, Badoo with me for 12 years, and it’s absolutely boring business. Within the company there are many new technologies, products, services, new businesses. Bumble, for example, or Lumen, or Chappy, a few starts in 2019. If I, selling a business, switched to something next, because I can’t focus on three or four or five businesses, now will make my life easier. It’s all a huge Foundation of experience and expertise, acquired over the years, that we just fabricated, covering different new directions. For example, the last Lumen, an app for people 50+, is a terrific niche, we launched it in September, there is simply a vertical takeoff. We get to see how the market reacts and the market is empty.
Lumen — your investment or domestic product?
The idea of a market of 50+ flew in the air long enough, we see the statistics and how people in this age category need it. The idea of the Lumen presented two of our employees, which became cofounder this business. The company anyone can go with me to share ideas. If you have a feeling that this is the right idea, and it’s relevant to us and our experience, if a person has the energy and knowledge we will support. But we need to see and understand people, to understand who you give the keys to a Ferrari this way. I treat all of our projects not as investments but as partnerships.
Why did you change the habit to sell the business?
Because life does not cease to bubble. But Badoo is very different in its business model from a “Runner”, “Runner” from the “Mamba”. They are completely different businesses, they do not intersect. And not to distract from the other, had to go from one business to enter another. It is not true that for example, I did a “Runner” during the work on Spylog. I ended a relationship with Spylog and started a “Runner”, finished with “Runner” and started “the Mamba”. Finished “Mamba”, which is very strongly then, in 2005, I got sidetracked and started Badoo. The product “Mamba” was more designed for the CIS market, it was impossible to market in Europe or America, he was different. I wanted to focus on the business here [in Europe] and less distracted by what is happening in the CIS, so I decided to sell the “Mamba”. The ideal time to sell any business on its rise. It grew at a crazy pace, was sorry to leave. She still grew five times after I sold it. By the way, with the “Runner” comes the same story:
after the sale of it rose 10 times in all its parameters. But I drove to the next train and hurried to the next station. I want very much not to repeat the same mistakes, so now we are very serious about the IPO.
I believe that the business looks stable enough, the eggs slowly begin to unpack all baskets, baskets for many.
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You follow the fate of their sold projects, the “Mamba”?
No, tried again, and even gave some advice. At the control, which put the new owners, it was the vision of the business. Now I do not know what is happening there.
You left Spylog in 2002, parallel to your team was already working on the “Runner”. You sold your share?
Indeed, I left Spylog in 2002 due to disagreements with partners, and that’s all I can tell you about it. Incidentally, the development of a “Runner” began, of course, after I left Spylog.
How did you meet Victor Remsha out with you sometime “Mamba” and owns 20% in Badoo?
We Remsa met long ago, even when buying a “Runner”. It was interesting to invest in online businesses. He was the buyer of a controlling stake “Runner” in 2003. When the Mamba began to grow, I needed a partner to be able to buy servers and stuff. I went to Viktor Remsha and invited him to participate. And Badoo was very simple. A year after the sale of “Wamba” when we closed the deal, it was very easy to explain what it is — the same as “Mamba”, the only international story. He already knew all about “Mambo” and its figures, and we closed a deal with Badoo for one week.
When I started Badoo, have you ever had the feeling that this project with you will long remain?
Now this is not a company, it is the whole group. Each year group is something new — a rapid growth and innovative history. It helps me to maintain interest. Now we have already grown to the point where it’s hard to just pick up and sell, it is a huge machine, a multibillion-dollar business. The growth rate is high, now is the perfect time to make a serious step.
In the press since 2010, discusses the IPO Badoo…
We are moving toward an IPO, not because they want cheap money, not because we need the money. We, in General, profitable business. The IPO will help us gain more resources to win more markets and create more products, to move ten times faster than it is now. So the question IPO is now more than timely.
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With whom you discuss the partnership at the IPO?
I can’t call the banks, there is not one Bank.
When you are planning to go for an IPO, it will be 2019?
At the very moment when we feel ready.
What brand you will go for an IPO?
There has been much discussion on this subject, and in the process we realized that we are not just building a Dating, we are building social projects. We support women, different age groups, groups with different sexual preferences. For all the time we have collected so much data that there is a clear understanding: this is not just a business, it is a social responsibility. We see that can make people’s lives better, I can meet between those who would never have met in ordinary life. And it’s not just about romance, it’s about friendship, and about business opportunities.
So we decided not to limit myself to a single brand. The staff together called Andreev Group, I’m referred to simply as “Group.” Over the name, still thinking.
How are things with the us market, you’ve long tried to come up there, bought a service of Hot or Not for example.
I am a person who never gives up. If you fail once, try the second, third, fourth and succeed. With Hot or Not was a bit of a different story. At some point Apple changed the rules of the game and banned to rate user photos, and this was the main functionality of Hot or Not. It got to the ridiculous: even the name we were forbidden under the new rules, had to rename The Game by Hot or Not. After the users have lost the point and it became harder to find application for the usual name, continue to did not make sense. We spent six months fighting with Apple agreed, and the next year there was a Bumble.
When Whitney Wolfe Hurd, who became a co-founder of this project came to you, she had another idea to create an app Merci. Why you didn’t support her, you had the idea?
When Whitney came up with the idea Merci, we walked around the city, spent a lot of time discussing the project. At that time I had a clear understanding that, despite the fact that 50% of the audience all datinghow women, no one is making a special effort to create something special, to give them the most comfortable and safe experience. We have a lot to do in Badoo by that time, but there was a feeling that you can try to do it as a separate project. And then I find Whitney, who went through an unpleasant experience, and she has absolutely the same views on the situation. Except that her idea was confined only to women, and I wanted to include in the process all, and men in particular, and not to create an isolated community. In the process of discussing the idea of Bumble. We have combined experience Whitney in marketing Tinder and in my experience — from the point of view of the product, its implementation, ingeneri — and for a couple of months, launched a new brand. In the beginning, we just didn’t get off the phone now we continue to call five times a day, discussing what to do next in terms of product and marketing strategy.
Than Bumble technologically different from other projects?
It’s all our technology, our billing, our innovation. Women make decisions first, everything else — our infrastructure. We didn’t need two years to develop, we, like a puzzle, quickly gathered Bumble.
Through Union with Whitney, we decided the question of America, because Hot or Not, we went feil Apple in the summer of 2014. Hot or Not eventually disappeared within the company, but as an app it exists, there are 2-3 million active users. But we do not do anything for promotion.
As it is now growing Bumble?
Growing very well. This service was focused primarily on America, but England picked up the baton very quickly. The goal for 2019 — the international growth. We had the announcement in India, in European countries. Bumble grew revenue by 150% over the past year.
Match Group (which owns Tinder) has offered to sell you Bumble?
Yes, I was. They were pressed, and our communication with the Match now going on in court. They invented some of the patents and sent us a paper that they invented Dating. We feature “Yes-no” is not patented, many elements were created, and to us, the same Hot or Not. It is a product which in the web version appeared in 1999. Obviously, you cannot patent the wheel and other things that already exist on the market. And Tinder’s somehow patented, and we don’t understand who gave them this patent and how it was even possible. We are not interested in the acquisition by Match. We have a lot of energy, and we want to do big things.
Which markets are now developing Badoo?
The main markets of Hispanic America, Spain, France, Italy, other European countries. In Latin America, a lot of users because there are historically more Spanish look on the Internet than in the us. Badoo, because of this, there is organically grown. The Russian market interests us, now there are about 30 million users. It is not our most important market, for a total of Badoo is 6-7%. Due to the Bumble and other products, this share is eroded to 2-3%, but remains significant. I still was born in Moscow, and for me it is very important to Russia, our service is also flew.
Badoo have two main sources of revenue is advertising, and users who pay for certain services. Which one does more?
I would not say that is. We started to introduce this model recently, and share in our advertising revenue is not even 3%. We begin to believe that we will be able to make more money on advertising. Now the main stream of revenue comes from users. They pay for gifts and promotion yourself, but the basic service is free. This is not some private club of people who pay for a subscription of €20-40. This is a free story in order to have a huge number of users — hundreds of millions.
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Will the is to scare off these users?
I’m a grocery man and I am against any advertising, but our sales people convinced me to try. I’m usually strongly against, teeth reluctantly agree, but now advertising is in the minimum version. Advertising is very dependent on the market: if there’s a default, then everyone who depends on it will subside. And I don’t want to be so dependent.
How many Badoo earns a single user?
It all depends on the country, but clearly more than Tinder. They are closely watching what they do Badoo and Bumble, and get inspired. In our group there are many new technological things, like video chats. For Dating is a new thing. It’s nice to be inspiration not only for Tinder, but for hundreds of other imitators in the industry.
In interviews, you mentioned that you do not spend on marketing at Badoo, but in recent times has tried any marketing activity. What was it?
We are testing different marketing activities in London and Russia, but still don’t understand how it can help Badoo. Now we have organic growth and 400 000 registrations a day. The contribution of marketing in the growth less than 10%. We have a strong product, word of mouth gives us great figures for the number of daily registrations. But we try to still to do something — we want new markets, and new groups of people.
What markets do you now see?
I believe that we need to look at the most successful market and send all the forces.
What’s your stake in Badoo? The information that Finam owns 20% in public, and the rest — do you?
The team. It’s not just me, it’s a group of people. Over the past 12 years, we were joined by some other people. I’m probably the most influential shareholder and decision maker.
You are the Chairman of the Board of Directors?
No. Major shareholder or CEO, not necessarily the President. We have a Board of Directors in Malta, and most of the decisions are taken there.
What is the revenue of the group?
I can’t say. Become public, everything will be visible in live. I can only say that we are actively approaching the Group numbers Match. Before the IPO can’t make any statements, and even without the approval of the Board of Directors I can’t.
You are probably getting offers to sell the business? How you react to them, consider such a possibility?
A lot of people come, we all listen. It is interesting and ethically correct to listen to large funds. We don’t allow foreign investors, they are then tortured. There are different investors, but there are those who climb in the RAM, the way. We don’t need the money — the business is very profitable, we are growing.
As you look at the market of Dating in the future five to seven years?
The need Dating is an eternal necessity. Create new relationships is as important as eating and sleeping, it is a natural human need. Might change the form of Dating, technology, but the need will always be. For the next 5 and 50 years Dating is ahead of the rest. Don’t know what will happen to the taxi service through a number of years, but the Dating is accurate.
Whether you are interested in as an investor in other markets?
No. In the past I have jumped from one business to another, but I closed my previous business and move on to a new project. All that is now is one big ship with a single infrastructure Dating, and there are new projects. Of course, you could do something new. I often say: why don’t you make a new project, a restaurant for example? But I have no profile in restaurants! Of course, I love to cook, but that doesn’t mean you have the restaurant open! Even if 100 000 give to someone, as a businessman, you start to think, how’s my money doing, how many visitors, what are the indicators. It’s distracting from the main business.
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Over the last year has changed technologically in the group?
New Look Alike greatly helped us in our growth. We had video chats, Badoo live (videostream). We now have three areas of development: services inside Badoo and Bumble, new services such as Lumen, as well as a new geography.
What are you personally doing now in Badoo?
I focus on Dating platform, and make it the largest in the world with the largest number of users, functionality and revenue. I now no longer about Badoo, I’m more looking out for the whole group. I’m not an obvious person of the group, we do not present as a group prior to the IPO. I make decisions in different situations and at different levels, monitor your asset look at the destinations, meet people.
To you the Russian authorities had requested data transfer, as to Paul Durova, for example?
We comply with the laws of all countries where we operate and cooperate with the authorities. We ensure that the confidential information of our users to remain the same. But if there are some criminal things and come to us with a decision, we execute it. The FSB has not been addressed even once — who’s interested in a romantic conversation?
You not been in Russia since 2008, why?
I have a lot of traveling through America and Europe associated with the business. I wouldn’t have anything to build now purely Russian. We have a good presence Badoo in Russia, we will soon and Bumble in Russia. And to create an exclusively Russian business? I have already passed this stage, I global. But I was born in Moscow I love Moscow and Russia.
You studied in Spain, to whom?
I’m not finished, flunked everything. I officially have no higher education. They say it’s a problem. The main thing — life experience.
You have quite a lot of Russian in the team in London, this is a principled position?
This strong brains, we have the best universities. They are hard-working. Basically it is the developers. We sometimes invite staff from London, someone translate from the Moscow office. In the London office of about 600 people, including programmers — about 230-240.
You don’t really like that Forbes includes you in the list of richest people?
I don’t like such lists.
You are too public person, rarely giving interviews. There was even a six-year period when I gave. What is the reason?
I’m really quite a private person and prefer to have technology and not to give interviews. To each his own. My team persuaded me to give a couple of interviews, instead of speculation in the articles were the real facts. I tried, and it turned out to be not so bad, although so far any interview for me a kind of stress. Here, even as it is now. I’d rather go another company will create.
Are you still cooking?
I started to cook not willingly in childhood. Sweet I was allowed to have, regardless of my success in school, and I was a DAB hand at cooking cookies, lemon, ant heaps, Apple pies and other delicacies of the Soviet. We had a rule in the family: all that I cook, have a right to have. I reached perfection. And in the restaurants in London I would come on Saturday to cook, to entertain themselves. And then I became friends with the chefs at different restaurants. I’m very interested in that in those restaurants where I go, it was delicious. From time to time I even offer joint projects, but it would’ve been a distraction. I’m not a venture Fund, which may fan out to spread out the investment. I don’t even have the infrastructure to control it all.
Recently you a lot with Nika Belotserkovskaya participated in the auction of Gift of Life. Why do you need it?
Auction organizers offered me to participate in such a ridiculous way to act as the lot to cook dinner for six people; during the year we have to spend on the venue. Nike have long been familiar, we both love to cook and eat. And the money went to children. I agreed to participate because this is important, it is helping children. Tim cook a few years ago sold the lot to dinner with him for an hour, the price was $100 000. I myself was curious, I even participated at first. But the price soared over the clouds, and I stopped participating. I was curious to meet him. I liked this idea.
What you are attracted to England for business and life?
I came to London many years ago and fell in love immediately — a huge city with a huge infrastructure. All the offices of major banks are here. If you’re in Spain and need to meet with JP Morgan, you need to go to London or America, but here they are all around the corner. Geographically this is also a great location, near everything. I have been living for 13 years in London, and it is comfortable to live. From Moscow I went in eighteen years, when he moved to Spain, then I periodically visited. I now have almost nothing in common with Moscow, there’s office, a good team. But the concentration of all life in England, in America, have offices in Europe. Is, where to fly.
Who of business you like, in terms of style of doing business?
I have the same question asked at the interview for the position of Head of marketing. I wanted to understand what would be called people. One of the candidates named two or three beer brand in Brazil and said it was the best she had seen. And she didn’t get it from us.
If not business, what would you do?
Traveled probably would.
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Svetlana Holowchuk / inter / TASS
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Oleg Kisakurek, 28, Promobot
Co-founder of Promobot — manufacturer of Autonomous service robots was born and raised in Perm. Robotics, he became interested in 2012, and the Promobot company, together with partners, founded three years later, the first “office” was in the garage. For four years the startup has passed a way from the execution unit orders for the Perm shopping centers to the production of large quantities of game for Russian and foreign clients (last year it collected more than 170 “prombeton” and the geography of supplies has expanded to 33 countries). Have Promobot has a contract with the American Intellitronix more than $50 million, the revenue of the company exceeds 100 million rubles per year, and the whole business of investors is estimated at 2 billion rubles.
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Georgi Solov’ev, 29 years old, Skyeng
Online English school Skyeng George Soloviev and his partner Khariton Matveev founded in 2012. In 2014, the startup launched its own platform Vimbox learning (virtual classroom), in 2016 — mobile apps and services for learning a language for the subtitles for the TV series. By the end of 2017, the company’s revenue has increased 2.2 times and amounted to 725 million roubles. In 2018 Skyeng attracted investment from Baring Vostok funds: the business was valued at a record for the market of educational technology (EdTech) in Russia $100 million
Maxim Dreval, 27, L2P Limited
A graduate of Moscow state University and Higher school of Economics Maxim Dreval began his career as a project Manager in “Yandex” and Mail.Ru Group. In 2010, he became a co-founder of the project Alexey Polovinkin “100 of the exam.” In 2013 the company became a full-fledged online school. In 2014, after the merger of the project with the “Netologia”, Dreval co-founded the holding “netology-group”, where he served as Director of products. In 2016, the entrepreneur has created an L2P Limited. The company is engaged in projects at the intersection of e-sports and education.
Ilya Lagutin, 29 years old, Aitarget
Private investor and businessman Lagutin in 2010 graduated from the faculty of management Higher school of Economics. Since 2007, he specializiruetsya on the subject of advertising on the Internet. In 2013 he founded Aitarget. Today, the company Lagutin has the status of a Facebook marketing partner in Russia — the official reseller of advertising Facebook and Instagram in the country.
Ilya Chekh, 29 years, “Motor skills”
In 2013, Ilya graduated from NRU ITMO in St. Petersburg. Worked as a design engineer at an engineering plant. Cech has assembled a team of engineers and programmers for the developments in robotics and biomechanics. Participated in the creation of the Lunokhod team “Selenokhod”. In 2013-2014, he worked on the development of space systems convergence. The participant of the first Russian team of the Mars Desert Research Station program. Ilya started the company “Motor skills” — the manufacturer of bioelectrical prostheses with a wide range of functions. In 2018, the revenue the startup grew 2.5 times, to $1 million, and the company’s production site was opened in China.
Anna Belova, 30 years old, Devar
In 2015, dulacca Anna Belova, together with partners Averyanova by Vitaly and Andrei Komissarov launched a startup Devar. The project deals with the production of children’s books with augmented reality technology (augmented reality — AR). During the year the company reached the turnover of 15 million rubles. Today the products Devar sold in 40 countries, and 70% of their revenue from foreign markets. In the line of more than 200 items of educational and entertaining AR books. In February 2018, the startup has attracted investments in the amount of $3 million from renowned venture Fund Leta Capital.
Nikita Blinov, 29 years old, Rubbles
The founders of Rubbles (in addition Blinov, is a 27-year-old Vladislav Lissitzky and Alexander Fonarev) met while studying at the faculty of computational mathematics and Cybernetics (CMC) of Moscow state University. After University, all three came to work in “Yandex”, where the idea of a startup. The company Rubbles develops solutions based on analysis of data for large companies — banks, retailers and industrial companies. In 2017, the project has attracted $1.5 million from the Fund FinSight, investing in companies such as Badoo, Banki.ru and Busfor. Today in Rubbles more than 20 customers in Russia and abroad (in Europe, Singapore, Canada), where the startup is operating under the brand SBDA Group.
Valery Ilyinsky, 29 years old, Genotek
The founders of the company Genotek Valery Ilinsky and Artem of Elmuratov — graduates of the biological and the mechanical-mathematical faculties of the Moscow state University. In 2010, the year they created the business in the promising industry of genetic research. The company quickly became one of the leaders of the rapidly growing market and in 2012 received a $500,000 investment from the Fund Rustars Ventures and groups of individuals. In 2016 Genotek raised $2 million, in 2017 $1 million In the latter case the investor is a pharmaceutical holding company “Pharmstandard”. Genotek is making to thousands of genetic tests per year. The company offers a wide range of services, from analysis of origin to specialized DNA tests by the doctor.
Daria Child, 28 years, Grabr
The idea of a startup was born Grabr Daria has a Baby when she is tired to return to Russia from abroad with suitcases, too expensive cost at home. In 2015 the businesswoman, along with her husband Artem Fedyaeva launched a project designed to relieve users from having every time to go for the right product for yourself. On the platform Grabr you can leave a simple request, and for $10 it will take to fulfill the traveler, who “along the way” with the customer. Thus was born and has grown a community of nearly one million users. They deliver each other’s products around the world — and among “couriers” and is the co-founder of the company. The unique business has attracted $14 million investment.
Vladimir Sveshnikov, 29, “Robot Faith”
Co-founder Stafory, developer robot recruitment “Faith,” moved to St. Petersburg from the Far East in 2006. The idea to create a virtual assistant that will help companies to automate the process of mass recruiting, came to him in 2015. In the same year he, along with partner Alexander by Uraxanum seriously undertook the development of “Faith.” The innovative product has been made popular by the assistant with the artificial intelligence technology is already used by about 200 large companies. Among the clients Stafory — MTS, the CSC Group, PepsiCo, Rostelecom and IBS. In December 2018 startup raised 226 million. The main investor is the Fund of development the Internet initiatives.
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