Dan Wagner

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Dan Wagner
Dan - November 13 2007.jpg
Wagner in 2007
Daniel Maurice Wagner

(1963-07-28) 28 July 1963 (age 59)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
Known forVenda Inc, Powa Technologies

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 Venda, ATTRAQT, Powa Technologies and most recently, Rezolve.

Early life[edit]

Wagner was born in Edgware, Middlesex on 28 July 1963.[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 license 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]

Venda Limited[edit]

In April 2001, Wagner founded Venda as one of the first cloud based, enterprise class commerce platforms using the technology assets from Boo.com as the foundation for the offering.[12][13] He bought the Boo.com assets for just £250,000 after they had invested over £70 million in the platform and operations.[14]


In 2003, Wagner co-founded Attraqt - an e-commerce software company - with CEO Andre Brown.[15] Wagner served as the company’s chairman until June 2016.[16] He took Attraqt public on AIM in August 2014.[17] and left as chairman in 2016.[16]

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,[18] 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 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.[19] 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.[20][21] In response to the criticism, 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."[20]

In November 2016, The Daily Telegraph reported Powa's administrators were examining payments made to offshore vehicles linked to Wagner and his associates.[22] In November 2016, the newspaper City A.M. reported that Wagner was to enter into legal proceedings against a former Powa directors and investors, accusing them of colluding to force the company into administration.[23]

In December 2017, the Times reported the High Court had dismissed Wagner's application to set aside a statutory demand for the repayment of a $2 million loan from former Powa director Ben White. White and Wagner subsequently settled all claims in a private agreement.[24]


In 2017, Wagner founded mobile commerce platform Rezolve.[25] Under Wagner, Rezolve developed a tool that allowed smartphone users to scan items in print and TV ads and purchase them, or request more information.[26][27] The Financial Times noted Rezolve’s function was similar to PowaTag, but Wagner told Business Insider he didn't use IP that didn’t belong to him.[28] In 2021, Wagner took Rezolve public in a merger with Armada Acquisition Corporation, a financial technology SPAC, in a $2 billion deal.[26]


  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". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wray, Richard (13 March 2010). "Portraits of the dotcom entrepreneurs". The Observer. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ Andrew Davidson (1 April 2001). "The Andrew Davidson interview: Dan Wagner". Management Today. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ Gale, Adam (13 August 2015). "How did Powa's Dan Wagner do in his exams?". Management Today. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  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". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. 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. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross (2 June 2000). "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; Fashionmall.com Swoops In for the Boo.com Fire Sale" – via query.nytimes.com.
  13. ^ Wray, Richard (16 May 2005). "Boo.com spent fast and died young but its legacy shaped internet retailing". Retrieved 16 May 2005.
  14. ^ "Bright Station to Buy Assets From Failed Retailer Boo.com". 30 May 2000.
  15. ^ Duke, Simon (13 July 2014). "Dotcom veteran returns with shopping software listing". London Times. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  16. ^ a b Shubber, Kadhim (16 June 2016). "After all that Powa, another departure for Dan Wagner". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  17. ^ Griffith, Gabriella (14 August 2014). "Wagner gets his ducks in a row with latest IPO". City A.M. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Powa Technologies missed staff and contractor payments". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  19. ^ "So how much was Powa Technologies really worth?". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  20. ^ a b Finance. "Powa Technologies: Most 1,200 PowaTag deals were 'letters of intent' - Business Insider". Uk.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Would you have invested in Powa?". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  22. ^ Martin, Ben (12 November 2016). "Powa Technologies payments investigated by administrators". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  23. ^ Haslett, Emma (1 November 2016). "Powa play: Dan Wagner in legal battle over collapse of fintech unicorn". cityam.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Legal stand off over Powa loans is settled". thetimes.co.uk. 2 April 2019.
  25. ^ Kleinman, Mark (16 March 2021). "Colourful tech founder Wagner eyes vindication with $750m Rezolve fundraising". Sky News. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  26. ^ a b Ramkumar, Amrith (17 December 2021). "Mobile Commerce Platform Rezolve Reaches $2 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public; Rezolve says its platform lets consumers make physical ads and products instantly shoppable by pointing their phones". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  27. ^ Evans, Peter (23 June 2019). "Dan Wagner snatches another shot at glory". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  28. ^ Shubber, Kadhim (26 August 2016). "Entrepreneur uses assets of failed Powa as basis of retail tech venture". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 March 2022.

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