Fabian Thylmann

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Fabian Thylmann
Born (1978-06-05) 5 June 1978 (age 43)
OccupationAngel investor, entrepreneur
Years active1999–present
Known for

Fabian Thylmann (born 5 June 1978) is a businessman from Germany who was founder and managing partner of the Internet pornography conglomerate Manwin (now MindGeek).[1] In October 2013, he sold his stake in the company, which was at the time the largest pornography operator in the world.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Thylmann was born in Düsseldorf. He is married with two children.[3] He started computer programming when he was 17.[4] His breakthrough came in the late 1990s when he developed software called NATS (Next-generation Affiliate Tracking Software), which enabled website operators to track users' clicks on advertisements and links so that they could be paid commission.[5] Thylmann used the money he made with NATS to buy various Internet pornography companies, and in March 2010, he established Manwin by acquiring the companies Mensef and Interhub.[4][6] Manwin bought Pornhub, YouPorn, RedTube, Brazzers, Twistys.com, Mofos and other pornography websites.[7]

Sale of Manwin[edit]

In October 2013, Thylmann stepped down and sold Manwin for €73 million, for undisclosed reasons.[8]

Upon the sale of Manwin, Thylmann wrote in a letter to employees:

It is with a sad heart that I have to announce that I have decided to sell Manwin to Manwin's top management team. Please believe me that this decision has been one of the hardest in our lives for both my wife and myself. [...] Both myself and Manwin are at a stage where I can no longer add significant value to the best of my ability. I hope I have taught all of you and management the right values to be able to continue the company in the best possible way and I am looking forward to following its development.[7]

According to a 2016 interview with EU-Startups, Thylmann claimed that he didn't miss the "adrenaline" and responsibilities that came with running Manwin, stating that he was working on "fun relaxing projects".[9]

Extradition and indictment[edit]

In December 2012, Thylmann was extradited from Belgium to Germany on suspicion of tax evasion. He did not contest the extradition order, although he reportedly denied avoiding paying tax.[3][10]

In April 2015, Thylmann was indicted by the Cologne, Germany federal prosecutor on tax evasion charges.[11][12] The charges were dropped when he paid 5 million euros[13] but he still faces a suspended sentence in another case.[14]


  1. ^ Morris, Chris (18 January 2012). "Meet the New King of Porn". CNBC. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ Pardon, Rhett (18 October 2013). "Fabian Thylmann Sells Stake in Manwin to Company Management". XBIZ.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Staff writer (17 December 2014). "'Porn king' detained on suspicion of tax evasion". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b Wallace, Benjamin (30 January 2011). "The Geek-Kings of Smut". New York Magazine. p. 5. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  5. ^ Buse, Uwe (20 December 2012). "Harnessing the Internet: The German Porn King's Revolutionary Model Page 1". SPIEGEL ONLINE. p. 1. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ Whigham, Nick (August 11, 2017). "Meet the man who changed the world of porn forever". The New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Pardon, Rhett (18 October 2013). "Fabian Thylmann Sells Stake in Manwin to Company Management". XBIZ.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Germany's 'Porno King' gives up empire". The Local. Berlin, Germany: The Local Europe GmbH. 21 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  9. ^ Ohr, Thomas (2016-09-15). "Interview with Fabian Thylmann - the German entrepreneur who once built the biggest adult entertainment company in the world". EU-Startups. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  10. ^ Paterson, Tony (12 December 2012). "Fabian Thylmann, 'the ruler in the Realms of Lust', is arrested for alleged tax evasion". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  11. ^ Pardon, Rhett (20 April 2015). "Fabian Thylmann reportedly indicted on tax evasion charges". XBIZ. Adnet Media. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  12. ^ Denim, Sue (22 April 2015). "Fabian Thylman indicted on tax evasion charge". YNOT Europe. YNOT Group. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  13. ^ ""Porno-König" kauft sich mit fünf Millionen Euro frei". 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  14. ^ "Millionenauflage: Steuerverfahren gegen Porno-Unternehmer Thylmann eingestellt". 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-19.

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