An Entrepreneur with a
vision and commitment to excellence
Dan Wagner is a British entrepreneur and businessman who founded M.A.I.D. (Market Analysis and Information database) a revolutionary concept in online business technology and which pioneered the provision of online information services world-wide to this very day.
Leaving school at 16, he began his career as a salesman in a hi-fi shop in central London before joining advertising agency WCRS as a junior Account Executive. In 1984 at the age of 20, whilst doing market research that involved laborious searching of back copies of newspapers, journals, and research reports, Dan devised the first online information platform using the internet that ultimately became the world market leader.
This was five years before Sir Tim Berners Lee presented the concept of the World Wide Web in CERN, eight years before www was introduced as an addressing system for the internet and 11 years before Amazon started its business. In order to make the service available for the market, Dan had to create systems to take payment for information (eCommerce) and devise technology to interrogate content (search) – none of these technologies were available at the time. M.A.I.D/Dialog became a key contributor to the rapid acceptance and take-up of online information services during the 1990’s and Wagner built the company up from zero to 26% of the global online information market with 46 offices around the world, operations in 192 countries and over 200,000 publications being made available on line for researchers and libraries.
M.A.I.D was floated on the London Stock Exchange in early 1994 and later in the US via a NASDAQ listing in late 1995 and then acquired Dialog and became The Dialog Corporation.
In early 2000 the Company was sold to Thompson Reuters for $500 million.
Two years before the sale of M.A.I.D/Dialog, Wagner created and developed Venda – the first Software as a Service (or SaaS) eCommerce provider. In 1998, the idea of renting sophisticated infrastructure from the ‘cloud’ was unheard of. Wagner again predicted that cloud computing or using the internet as a service provider for software and hardware infrastructure was the future. Venda offered enterprise class retailers with the ability to run their online stores using Venda’s tools, hardware and professionals whilst providing ‘peace of mind’ on security and uptime. Venda grew to become the European market leader before being sold to US behemoth NetSuite Inc in 2014. As of July 2016, NetSuite was acquired by Oracle for $9.3 billion.
In early 2003, a few years into the Venda journey, Wagner founded another SaaS cloud software platform this time focusing on search and merchandising for online retailers. Originally named Locayta, ATTRAQT is now a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange with an impressive set of blue chip customers and continued international growth.
In 2007 Dan founded Powa Technologies, to deliver transformative technology at the nexus of retail and mobility. PowaPOS designed, manufactured and delivered payment hardware solutions at the leading edge of innovation; PowaWeb developed and operated several hundred global eCommerce sites from the Cloud. PowaTag bridged the gap between physical and digital retail, by allowing consumers to “scan & tap” to purchase goods and services from any media – print, outdoor, video and “live” venues.
Under Wagner’s leadership Powa built one of the most visionary and exciting “omni-channel” platforms for retail with PowaTag. In early 2016, Ben White, a newly appointed board director conspired with Wellington Management, a large investor in Powa, and others to divert the value of the business to their own pockets. Their attempts ultimately failed due to the tenacity and resourcefulness of the board of directors but not before they destroyed all the value in the business and cost hundreds of people their jobs. These actions are now subject to a major legal action that is underway.
In 2011, Dan founded BuyaPowa with Gideon Lask, the current CEO. BuyaPowa is Europe’s leading Refer-a-Friend marketing platform turbo-charging customer acquisition for leading brands and retailers. BuyaPowa helps retailers amplify their customers’ network, turning chatter into actual transactions. Retailers find acquiring new online shoppers difficult and expensive but social media is seen as having the potential to change that. BuyaPowa helps retailers to acquire new customers by allowing them to encourage and reward their customers for getting their friends to shop too. The BuyaPowa customer referral platform plugs straight into a client´s existing website and tracks how and when their customers refer their friends and rewards them accordingly. BuyaPowa helps retailers identify their key advocates and then motivates them into action.
Wagner’s newest exciting venture, Rezolve, creates a whole new buying or paying experience for customers through its unique mobile image and audio recognition technology. It allows any form of advertising or media – print, outdoor, audio, video, social – to be instantly “shoppable” by a consumer with a mobile device, delivering commerce anytime and anywhere.
Wagner’s honours include being chosen by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow and also being awarded Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 1998.
Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, London (Taken in 2000):
Open University Profile:
Open University ‘Learning from Business Mistakes’:
Involvement with UK Export Initiative
Huffington Post Blogs:
Wikipedia (usually wrong!)