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VKontakte Founder Durov Sells Stake in Company

Published: January 26, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Pavel Durov speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin in 2013.
    Photo: TechCrunch / Flickr

Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte, said on Friday he had sold his stake in the immensely popular social-networking website that has often been dubbed “Russia’s Facebook.”

Durov wrote on his VKontakte page that he had sold 12 percent of the company to Ivan Tavrin, a member of the Mail.Ru Group Board of Directors and general director of Russian telecoms giant Megafon.

He said that the deal would not affect VKontakte management and he, as a founder, would continue to oversee its functioning.

You may also be interested in: VK Claims Authorities Sought $100,000 Bribe

Russian business daily Vedomosti said earlier in the day, citing sources close to VKontakte partners and shareholders, that the deal was signed in December 2013.

The contract value is unknown, but one of Vedomosti’s sources said it was probably based on the company’s value of $3-4 billion.

Previous media reports said that Durov and his VKontakte team were planning to quit and engage in a new project, but his spokesman Georgy Lobushkin denied the reports.

VKontakte remains Russia’s most popular social networking website. In January 2014, it was visited by about 60 million users daily, according to data provided by Durov.

You may also be interested in: VKontakte Movie to Start Filming in City Next Year

The website, whose users can upload music and videos on their pages, has also been criticized for massive copyright violations.

In a 2012 article in the popular US-based news blog Gawker, VKontakte was described as a “meat market” for American men seeking brides in Russia and other Eastern European nations.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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