Dan Wagner

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Dan Wagner
Dan - November 13 2007.jpg
Wagner in November 2007
Born Daniel Maurice Wagner
(1963-07-28) 28 July 1963 (age 55)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
Nationality British
Occupation Businessman
Known for MAID/Dialog, Venda Inc, Powa Technologies,
Website brightstation.com

Daniel Maurice Wagner (born 28 July 1963) is a British Internet entrepreneur. He created MAID, one of the first online information platforms in 1984.[1][2] He was later the founder and CEO of Powa Technologies.

Early life[edit]

Wagner was born in Edgware, Middlesex on 28 July 1963.[3][3] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood but expelled when he was 13, before attending several schools, ending up at University College School, London.[4]

Wagner dropped out of school when he was sixteen years old to work as a shop assistant for entrepreneur Julian Richer at Richer Sounds.[5] Afterwards he joined an advertising agency as an account executive. There he came up with the idea of creating databases of records about businesses as a resource for marketing professionals.[5]



After Wagner left his job at the advertising agency[5], he founded the online information company MAID (Market Analysis Information Database) in 1984. The company grew quickly[1] and obtained a 26 percent market-share.[5] According to The Observer he was "one of the first people to realise the benefits of packaging electronic information and data for scientists, librarians and other specialists."[2] The company went public on the stock market in 1994 and was renamed to Dialog.[5] It was also listed on NASDAQ in 1995.[6] Wagner became known for becoming a CEO of a public company in his 20s[7] and for presiding over the company's share price decline in the dot-com crash in 2000. Subsequently, it was nicknamed by the city and a number of publications as 'Dial-a-dog'.[8]

In 1997, Wagner agreed a deal to licence search technology (InfoSort) to Fujitsu of Japan[9] which was hailed by Prime Minister Tony Blair.[10]

At a photo shoot ahead of the MAID IPO Wagner wore a Donald Duck waistcoat and this "flamboyant" attire was blamed for reducing the value of the company's shares by 10 p. In 1997 the share price of Dialog dropped 95 percent.[11].

Powa Technologies[edit]

In 2007 he also founded Powa Technologies, an e-commerce business based on Venda Inc's small business solution, but with additional services for in-store and mobile point of sale and software for mobile payments.

In February 2016, the Financial Times reported that the company had missed payments to staff and third parties,[12] two years after raising substantial sums in investment. On 19 February 2016, Powa Technologies went into administration.

After the collapse of Powa Technologies, a series of articles by The Financial Times and the BBC called into question several claims that had been made by Dan Wagner during his tenure as CEO. Powa's self-proclaimed 2014 valuation of $2.6 billion was investigated and FT Alphaville concluded that £75 million was a more accurate figure. Most of the partners that Wagner claimed had signed deals with Powa were found to have instead signed non binding Letters of Intent that did not carry any obligations.[13] In response to the criticism, Dan Wagner told Business Insider in August 2016, "Regarding the LOIs, they were contracts committing the merchants to use Powa technology adhering to the terms and conditions published on the Powa website."[14]

In November 2016, the Daily Telegraph reported Powa's administrators were examining payments made to offshore vehicles linked to Dan Wagner and his associates.[15] In November 2016, the newspaper City A.M. reported that Dan Wagner was to enter into legal proceedings against a former Powa directors and investors, accusing them of colluding to force the company into administration.[16]

In December 2017, the Times reported the High Court had dismissed Dan Wagner's application to set aside a statutory demand for the repayment of a $2 million loan from former Powa director Ben White. Dan Wagner was subsequently issued with a bankruptcy petition. [17]


  1. ^ a b Tripathi, Shruti (14 October 2013). "He floated his first company for £120m, aged 31. Now Powa CEO Dan Wagner says the UK doesn't get tech". Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wray, Richard (13 March 2010). "Portraits of the dotcom entrepreneurs". The Observer. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Andrew Davidson (2001-04-01). "The Andrew Davidson interview: Dan Wagner". Management Today. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  4. ^ Gale, Adam (2015-08-13). "How did Powa's Dan Wagner do in his exams?". Management Today. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  5. ^ a b c d e Bounds, Andrew (24 October 2012). "Dan Wagner - Lone Ranger with a Mass Target". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  6. ^ Horsman, Mathew (11 August 1995). "MAID seeks £50m on NASDAQ". The Independent. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  7. ^ "He floated his first company for £120m, aged 31. Now Powa CEO Dan Wagner says the UK doesn't get tech". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  8. ^ Goodley, Simon (17 December 2011). "Dan Wagner: from dotcom Dial-a-dog to Venda vendor". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Dialog signs multi million deal with Fujitsu".
  10. ^ "Blair Hails New Dialog/Fujitsu Alliance - InternetNews". www.internetnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  11. ^ Griffith, Gabriella (2 October 2013). "Dan Wagner: 'Maybe I'm not the best person to run a public company.'". Management Today.
  12. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Would you have invested in Powa?". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  14. ^ "Dan Wagner tells his side of the story on the Powa Technologies collapse". businessinsider.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  15. ^ Martin, Ben (12 November 2016). "Powa Technologies payments investigated by administrators". Retrieved 26 January 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  16. ^ Haslett, Emma (1 November 2016). "Powa play: Dan Wagner in legal battle over collapse of fintech unicorn". cityam.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Powa founder Dan Wagner loses court battle over $2m demand". thetimes.co.uk. 26 December 2017.

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