Andrew Paulson - How Soup Is Cooked

    By his own definition, Andrew Paulson, who presides at Soup , was an “unemployed entrepreneur,” when he introduced himself to the famous financier Alexander Mamut at the Gostinaya Restaurant. “He said he was interested in the Internet,” Paulson says in an interview with SmartMoney . “I replied that I was also interested.” So, among the 25 media magnates invited to the party, the story of “Soup” began - a company that has recently been in charge of Cyrillic LJ, causing a lot of the most diverse buzzes.

    They decided it quickly - the partners had several meetings to discuss the business strategy and specific proposals on the case. Paulson, who acts as a generator of ideas in tandem, noted an important condition for their cooperation with Mamut: “Before we shook hands, I needed his consent that if after six months of movement in our chosen direction everything changes 180 degrees “We will continue to move in a new direction.” That is, partners are set up creatively and are ready to experiment with newly formed and acquired structures.

    In “Soup”, Mamut and Paulson own a controlling stake, distributing 10% of the shares among top managers. According to Paulson, by the end of this year the company’s value will be 10 times the amount invested in it, which will be $ 5 million by the end of December. Moreover, the license for Cyrillic LiveJournal cost a “small” part of the invested funds. The bulk of investments were made in the purchase of companies, tangible assets and in operating activities.

    At the same time, Paulson argues that Mamut does not limit spending. “Naturally, every opportunity needs to be carefully explored and presented,” he explains, adding that the decision to take over companies is not made out of price priority — much more important than him, Paulson, is the managerial ability to manage the assets bought. According to him, the task of “Soup” is to diversify the portfolio of Internet projects - “but not in the way a direct investment fund would do, but in the way an operating company, Prof-Media, for example, would collect a portfolio.”

    As Habrahabr already reported , it is rumored that Soup is negotiating the acquisition of Victory SA advertising agencyspecializing in the development of creative solutions and the sale of advertising opportunities on the Web. SmartMoney also mentions this agency, reporting that Paulson is determined to buy an advertising agency with a ready-made team, so as not to form a sales department from scratch. “Good sellers of advertising are less common than chicken teeth,” Paulson said poetically and explained that “Soup” wants to quickly monetize traffic, so companies should not be started from scratch.

    So far, in the announced assets of Soup, in addition to the rights to Cyrillic LiveJournal, the Russian service LJ Plus and the site appear. In the future, the team plans to create a portal through which users can get into any community that is close to their interests - be it in LiveJournal, on, or “You can buy other blog services or communities to create a single sign-on,” Paulson’s simple thought conveys to the source.

    Directly, the portal “Soup” will be engaged after March 2007, as it finishes dealing with purchases. From all the "buildings" by the end of next year, Paulson plans to raise $ 15 million in revenue. As part of LiveJournal, work is underway to debug the collection of statistics that is needed to form an accurate picture of attendance. The latter, in turn, is necessary for a clear idea of ​​the relative attractiveness of specific sites. “We will know for sure that a magazine called drugoi is read by X people,” says Anton Nosik, head of the soup blogging service. - This is X visitors, Y pages in Z time. We will be able to draw up a price list for this area and offer the user drugoi to buy from him this area on which we will place ads. ”

    At the same time, the main income, as conceived by the management of “Supa”, will be brought by pages of interests, visitors of which, as a particularly high-quality audience, will be shown ads of strong brands at a price of $ 50 per 1000 impressions. This is very expensive by the standards of the modern Runet, but, according to Paulson, selling ads to 100% of the target audience at this price is quite acceptable.

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