Charlie Parsons Creative, the boutique investment company, has backed a management buyout of the Gaydar dating business for an undisclosed sum. The investment company, founded by the television entrepreneur Charlie Parsons, will see Charlie join the Gaydar board which will be led by CEO Trevor Martin, previously Managing Director of the business. Mark Speeks will also join the board of directors with immediate effect.
The Gaydar business includes Gaydar.co.uk and GaydarGirls.com dating sites, mobile sites and app. With over six million registered members across more than 140 countries, it is one of the most popular global gay dating brands.
This announcement follows a period of change for Gaydar which is now focused entirely on the dating business. The investment and clear focus will allow the new management team to reinvigorate the dating brand both in the UK, as well as in international and emerging markets.
Charlie Parsons is one of the UKs best known innovators within international media and entertainment and previously co-founded Planet 24 where he created and produced award winning programming including The Big Breakfast and The Word. A double Emmy award winner for the reality show Survivor which he created, Charlie brings a track record of international business success to the Gaydar brand.
Charlie Parsons, Founder of Charlie Parsons Creative: I am delighted to invest in what is a very exciting business with such great potential. Although Gaydar is one of the best known gay brands in the world, there are many opportunities to build on the success to date. The dating industry has changed enormously since Gaydar first launched in 1999 and we will ensure that we continue to lead from the front, and continue to innovate and surpass expectations.
As part of the management changes Henry Badenhorst has left the business. Henry Badenhorst: Gaydar is not just a dating site but a vibrant community and it was important that anyone taking this company forward understood everything that the business stands for. I am very pleased that Charlie and his team have backed the existing management team to help Gaydar fully realise its potential.
Mark Speeks will join the board of Gaydar. Mark has more than 20 years experience in the finance industry, including a role as Corporate Development Director of JP Foodservice Inc., and in 2008 he joined Electra Partners and took part in a management buyout of the companys SME investment business. Subsequently, Mark has been instrumental in negotiating the management buyout of the online dating assets of QSoft Consulting, before joining the Board of Connect Acquisition Limited on the completion of the transaction.
For more information, please contact:
Kate Simpson/Mark Doonan, Threepipe
T: 0207 632 4800
About Gaydar: Gaydar is the UKs number one gay lifestyle website (Hitwise, June 2011), accounting for a 42 per cent share of gay and lesbian website traffic (HitWise, March 2012). Globally, Gaydar has over six million members in more than 140 countries and territories.
Gaydar supports numerous initiatives and charities including The Everywhere Project (co-funded by the European Commission – Executive Agency for Health and Consumers), which aims to develop and validate an innovative and culturally adapted European model of HIV prevention targeting Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) for use in cities across Europe. Gaydar is the first and only Gay dating site in the world to be awarded the Premium seal from the Everywhere Project thanks to a number of actions such as condoms and lubricant provision; HIV awareness and prevention information availability and their commitment to anti-discrimination. It is also heavily involved with the Terrence Higgins Trust via their online counselling service in the Gaydar chat rooms, and the National AIDS Trust. More details on Gaydars CSR policy are available upon request.