“The editors are a loss-making project”
The general director of Banks.ru Dinara Yunusova told Forbes that the company is undergoing reorganization, one of the editorial offices, namely the banki.ru edition, is moving to another legal entity. The editors of Finparty remain in Banking News, she said. “We are not talking about closing the editorial office and the People’s Rating, it’s part of our business that brings traffic that we monetize through the marketplace. I made the decision on reorganization, acting within the framework of the charter of the company and following the shareholder agreement. The shareholders approve and agree on the development strategy of the company, I am engaged in all operational management within my authority, I am responsible for the financial result, so to say that I did it under the pressure of one of the shareholders is just to distort the facts, ”the CEO said "Banks.ru".
In November, Ilyin-Adaev received another letter from Yunusova stating that on February 13, 2020, the Bank News was renting out the premises that they rented as an office. According to one of Banki.ru employees, the office is rented by Banks.ru, and the editorial office of Banking News rents an area there under a sublease agreement.
In 2018, according to SPARK, the revenue of Banki.ru Information Agency LLC (includes a financial marketplace) amounted to 993 million rubles, and net profit - 190 million rubles. The revenue of Banking News in 2018 reached 64 million rubles, and the net loss amounted to more than 4 million rubles. “Other shareholders do not like that the money leaves the company,” says the Forbes source.
“The editorial is a loss-making project, but it is necessary for building a business. We do journalism, invest in expertise, act as a resource to improve financial literacy, but we don’t make money on it, ”says Ilyin-Adaev.
Yunusova says that the shareholders probably have disagreements about the further development of the project. A Forbes source at the company claims that these disagreements relate to PR projects, "which are not integrated into the marketplace strategy."
Russia Partners did not respond to a Forbes request. According to one of Banki.ru employees, none of the shareholders' representatives has yet to meet with the editorial board.
Like Neumann and Kalanik
Russia Partners is not the only outside investor in the 14-year history of Banks.ru. In 2010, Finam Holding bought a stake in Banki.ru for $ 3 million, and sold it for $ 6 million three years later. “We were satisfied with this investment,” says the managing partner of the Finsight Ventures fund (part of Finam) Alexey Garyunov.
“I personally know [the director of the Russia Partners fund] Alexey Lupachev as a law-abiding person who acts only under the framework of shareholder agreements. As far as I know, Russia Partners has ended the investment period for transactions, so they cannot buy back a share from another shareholder, ”says Garyunov.
According to him, often the founders of companies are good at the initial stages of their development, and when the company becomes mature, it needs professional managers who will shape the strategy, budgets, determine the best partnerships, etc. “You can recall the examples of Travis Kalanik from Uber or Adam Neumann from WeWork, ”adds Garyunov.