The investment division of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) – IIDF Invest LLC – sued the founders of the Amplifer service for automatically publishing posts on social networks, according to the filing of arbitration cases. The project closed in December 2022.
The defendants are the company’s founder and CEO Natik Gadzhibalaev, co-founders Alexander Tishchenko and Yaroslav Markin. The third parties in the case are Amplifer LLC and the Interdistrict Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service No. 46 in Moscow. There are no details about the dispute in the case file yet, its consideration is scheduled for October 5 and will take place at the Moscow Arbitration Court.
In response to a request from RB.RU, an IIDF representative said that Gadzhibalaev left the company and is not in the Russian Federation, and that the purpose of the lawsuit is to “restore Natik Gadzhibalaev’s de jure stake in Amplifer and two other founders of the company, which will allow the procedure for its elimination to be carried out correctly.”
“Until now, IIDF Invest does not have effective tools to relieve itself of the ‘burden’ that arose after the service’s management left the company in 2022, leaving IIDF Invest as a ‘dummy,'” the director told RB. UK on supporting IIDF investment transactions Elena Krylova.
Amplifer representatives did not respond to RB.RU’s request.
Now FRII Invest owns a 4% stake in LLC Amplifer. The remainder of the stock is on the LLC’s balance sheet.
According to the Kontur.Focus system, the company’s revenue and net profit indicators have been declining since 2020. By the end of 2022, the company earned 12.3 million rubles, 1.9 times less than the revenue of 2021. In addition , last year, Amplifer received a net loss of 5.4 million rubles against a net profit of 2.2 million rubles in 2021.
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- Emil Yusupov, partner at the intercession law firm indicates that a company can be liquidated by voluntary decision of its founders and participants or by judicial decision. “IIDF Invest owns only four percent of Amplifer, from which we can conclude that it is unlikely that they will be able to demand the liquidation of the company on a voluntary basis. Not being able to initiate the voluntary liquidation procedure directly through the board of directors, FRII Invest decided to apply for liquidation before the courts, ”he explained.
- Yusupov added that in case of a positive court decision, the law requires liquidation of an LLC within one year, while the terms can be extended for another six months. “In the framework of the liquidation procedure, obligations to employees and creditors will be fulfilled first of all, and all remaining funds and assets will be distributed in proportion to the shares among all participants of the company,” the expert concluded.
Amplifer has been operating on the market since 2013. Through the platform, users published posts on all popular social networks in automatic mode, and the service also made it possible to collect analytics from the posts. In December 2022 the service was closed. A month earlier, the Amplifer team warned that they would shut down the servers and stop supporting the project due to lack of resources for development.
This is not the IIDF’s first lawsuit against portfolio companies in 2023. In June, the fund filed a lawsuit against the founder and former owner of the Rumberi service, Mikhail Khaikin. IIDF Invest demanded to invalidate the sale of 7% of the company for 1.5 million rubles. A few weeks later, the investment company signed a settlement agreement with Khaikin.
- Alexander Gorny, co-founder of United Investors He considers that it is not necessary to talk about a new trend in the relationship between investors and portfolio projects after 2022. “In the close-to-business environment, there are several striking examples similar to Amplifer, but they are clearly not enough for a “trend”, he believes. The investor also pointed out that Amplifer has been fighting for the survival of his project for almost ten years.
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