Dan Wagner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the basketball player, see Danny Wagner.
Dan Wagner
Dan Wagner - UK Tech Entrepreneur.jpg
Born Dan Wagner
(1963-07-28) 28 July 1963 (age 52)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
Nationality British
Occupation Businessman
Known for MAID/Dialog, Venda Inc, ATTRAQT, Powa Technologies
Website www.brightstation.com

Daniel Maurice Wagner (born 28 July 1963) is a British Internet entrepreneur. He is best known for his leadership of Dialog and its subsequent 95% share price drop in 2000,[1] and for being the CEO of Powa Technologies, where he raised in excess of $200 million of funding[2] before leading it into administration within 30 months in early 2016.[3]

Early life[edit]

Wagner was born in Edgware, Middlesex.[citation needed] He is the youngest of two children of John and Yaffa Wagner. His father was a managing director at BMW.[4] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood and University College School, London.[citation needed]

Wagner dropped out of school when he was sixteen years old to work as a shop assistant for entrepreneur Julian Richer at Richer Sounds.[4] Afterwards he joined an advertising agency, WCRS, as an account executive. There he came up with the idea of creating databases of records about businesses as a resource for marketing professionals.[4]



Wagner quit his job at the ad agency[4] and founded the online information company MAID (Market Analysis Information Database) in 1984, when he was 21 years old.[5] The company grew quickly[6] and obtained a 26 percent market-share.[4] 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."[7] The company went public on the stock market in 1994 and was renamed to Dialog.[4] It was also listed on NASDAQ in 1995.[8] In August 1995, Wagner earned £36 million in two days after a 300 percent increase in share values, prompted by a partnership with Microsoft.[5] Wagner became known for becoming a CEO of a public company in his 20s[9] and for presiding over the company's share price decline in the dot-com crash in 2000.[1]

In 1997, Wagner agreed a deal to licence search technology (InfoSort) to Fujitsu of Japan[10] which was hailed by Prime Minister Tony Blair.[11]

Share values in Dialog dropped 95 percent[5] during the dot-com crash[6] and the company was sold to Thomson for $500 million in 2000.[6] His choice of attire (a Donald Duck waistcoat) to a media photocall ahead of the MAID IPO was considered responsible for reducing the value of shares by 10p.[12] The sale occurred primarily to relieve the debt burden incurred when the company acquired Knight-Ridder Information in 1997.[13]

According to The Daily Telegraph, after the sale of Dialog, he "vowed to step out of the spotlight."[14]

Venda Enterprise eCommerce[edit]

Wagner founded Venda Inc in 1998 pioneering the concept of delivering software via cloud computing. Venda was the first software as a service enterprise class ecommerce platform.[6] Venda Inc is provider of e-commerce software originally built using technology from the defunct company Boo.com.[15] Venda today runs many of the largest UK and international retail ecommerce sites and was sold in July 2014 to US leading cloud computing software company NetSuite.[16]


ATTRAQT Group plc is a U.K. based organization that provides search and merchandising services to online businesses through a cloud-based Software As A Service (SaaS). It was founded in 2003 to facilitate sales growth for online retailers by focusing on conversion rates and the use of traditional creative merchandising techniques in the online environment. The company's SaaS platform, Freestyle Merchandising, gives retailers control over how products are merchandised on their e-commerce sites.

In 2014, ATTRAQT became available for trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange,[17][18] with an initial market capitalisation on Admission of approximately £10.3m,[19] based on a price of 50 pence per Ordinary Share on Admission.

In June 2016 Mr Wagner retired from his position as Chairman of ATTRAQT plc, ATTRAQTs shares increased in value 21% on the news to 34.5p.[20]

Aigua Media[edit]

In 2007, Wagner acquired, through his Bright Station incubator, several fashion blogs from Shiny Media into a business entity called Aigua Media.[21]

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 called PowaTag and PowaPOS, formerly known as mPowa. Wagner introduced PowaTag in 2014, after receiving more than $100 million in funding.[22] Users of the service can make purchases using QR codes, audio watermarks and iBeacons.[6][23]

In June 2014, Powa acquired Hong Kong based Znap in a shares-only deal valuing the combined entity at $2.6 billion.[24][25] The UK Prime Minister David Cameron praised Wagner for creating jobs.[26][27] However the merger saw a large number of UK employees have their employment terminated.[28]

In February, 2016, the FT reported Powa technologies had missed payments to staff and third parties,[29] two years after raising $175m investment, despite the investment, Powa was said to still be 'pre-revenue'. On 19 February 2016, Powa Technologies went into administration and appointed Deloitte as administrators.[3]

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 the Financial Times concluded that £75 million was a more accurate figure.[2] A "10-year strategic alliance with ‘limitless’ potential” deal with China UnionPay that Wagner described in a quote to the BBC as “Why did China UnionPay decide to partner with a little British technology company? We’ve trumped ApplePay and the rest of the world here.” was found to be nothing of the kind[30][31] and most of the partners that Wagner claimed had signed deals with Powa were found to be just Letters of Intent at best.[31][32]


In early 2016, following the administration of Powa, Wagner is believed to be working on a new technology start-up called Rezolve [33]

Business holdings[edit]

Wagner operates his various business interests through Bright Station Ventures Limited registered in the Isle of Man. Bright Station Limited - another of Wagner's companies - is registered with Companies House the holding company's registered office was the same as that for Powa Technologies. Its 2015 filed accounts show the company had in total £71,956 in assets and £66,784 owing to creditors.[34]


  1. ^ a b Goodley, Simon (17 December 2011). "Dan Wagner: from dotcom Dial-a-dog to Venda vendor". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "So how much was Powa Technologies really worth?". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  3. ^ a b Powa Technologies appoints Deloitte as administrators
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bounds, Andrew (24 October 2012). "Dan Wagner - Lone Ranger with a Mass Target". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Horsman, Mathew (11 August 1995). "How to make pounds 36m in 48 hours". The Independent. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  7. ^ Wray, Richard (13 March 2010). "Portraits of the dotcom entrepreneurs". The Observer. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Horsman, Mathew (11 August 1995). "MAID seeks £50m on NASDAQ". The Independent. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Dialog signs multi million deal with Fujitsu". 
  11. ^ Blair hails new Dialog/Fujitsu Alliance
  12. ^ Griffith, Gabriella (2 October 2013). "Dan Wagner: 'Maybe I'm not the best person to run a public company.'". Management Today. 
  13. ^ "Dialog beset by demons of debt". The Observer. 26 June 1999. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Wagner composes his return to public stage". The Telegraph. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Tyler, Richard (13 June 2010). "Venda's Dan Wagner to launch website venture". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Enright, Allison (17 July 2014). "NetSuite buys ecommerce software vendor Venda". Internet Retailer. 
  17. ^ Platt, Ryan (20 August 2014). "Dan Wagner founded Attraqt raises £1.25m in AIM IPO". 
  18. ^ "Attraqt Group plc First Day of Dealings". www.londonstockexchange.com. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Online Merchandiser ATTRAQT To Float On AIM". lse.co.uk. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "After all that Powa, another departure for Dan Wagner". 
  21. ^ Masson, Sarah (19 August 2009). "Shiny Media fashion blogs saved by investor". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Savage, Rachel (4 March 2014). "Dan Wagner Launches PowaTag Retail App". Management Today. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  23. ^ Burn-Callander, Rebecca (4 March 2014). "Retail revolution will be PowaTag-ged". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Daily Telegraph Powa Technologies valued at £1.6bn after acquisition
  25. ^ Dan Wagner's Powa Technologies worth £1.6 billion
  26. ^ Powa to create 250 UK jobs after major cash injection
  27. ^ US Investors back UK tech firm Powa to the tune of £48.5m
  28. ^ Tech darling's redundancies are "natural fallout" of hiring spree
  29. ^ Powa Technologies missed staff and contractor payments
  30. ^ "Powa Technologies and China UnionPay: when a deal isn’t what it seems". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  31. ^ a b "Powa: The start-up that fell to earth". 
  32. ^ "Would you have invested in Powa?". ftalphaville.ft.com. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  33. ^ Williams-Grut, Oscar (20 April 2016). "Dan Wagner plots comeback with rezolve". Business Insider. 
  34. ^ "BrightStation Limited Filing History". 

External links[edit]