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Friday, April 13, 2018

Andrey Andreev, the "Technological Cupid"

Por Rory

Always dresses in the same way: white shirt and black jeans pants. Andrey Andreev prefers to always wear the same clothes to "not waste time". With a fortune estimated at US $ 1,500 million, according to Forbes magazine, this millionaire born in Moscow 41 years ago, is the founder of Badoo, the largest dating application in the world with nearly 380 million users.

He never finished university and preferred to devote himself to his own inventions. When he was in his twenties, he carried out three business projects that became startups. A spy tracker for the internet (Spylog); a system to publish commercial notices on the web (Begun) and then Mamba, his first foray into the world of applications for people to find a partner. Together with his team, he developed the computer architecture of Chappy, a dating application for homosexuals and then Huggle came, a tool that connects people according to the places they frequent. Andreev owns 79% of Bumble, one of the fastest growing dating applications in the United States, whose peculiarity is that only women can establish the first contact.

Son of scientific parents, his name is Andrey Ogandzhantyants, but since it was difficult to pronounce and spell his surname, he chose to use his mother's. He managed to spend briefly at the University of Moscow before leaving at the age of 18 and traveling to Europe with a loan from his parents. Soon he created his first venture: Virus, an online store that sold computers and accessories to customers in Russia. From then on he continued to launch one project after another, moving between different countries and finally becoming a British citizen. He has not returned to Moscow in a decade.

Although he founded Badoo in 2006 in Spain, he launched the dating application on the market in 2009 (three years before his rival Tinder). Its head office is in London, has offices in Moscow and Malta, offers service in 190 countries, operates in 48 languages and employs nearly 300 developers who provide support to Huggle, Chappy and Bumble. "What we are doing is creating tools that facilitate the interaction of people, it is about connecting people," said the businessman in an interview with Forbes, although he met his current partner in "real life" and not in an application. "We want people to look beyond their own bubble of friends."

Since Badoo is not in the stock market, it is difficult to know exactly how much the company is valued. When asked, Andreev insists on not making an estimate, although he acknowledged that his company is smaller than the American business group Match Group, which operates the dating apps OkCupid and Tinder. Match Group, which has a market capitalization of US $ 12.2 billion, reported revenues of US $ 1.3 billion last year. And for the time being, as long as the employer does not receive an offer or does not decide to open up to the stock market, the valuation of his signature will remain a mystery.