ADRIAN TEAR

After securing a B.A.(Hons) (2.1) in Geography from the University of Durham, Adrian followed a postgraduate course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - partly inspired by the growing use and availability of satellite imagery and map data during the First Gulf War.

He graduated with Distinction in 1992, gaining an M.Sc. in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Edinburgh, where he met his future wife, Elspeth McVey, also a Director of MegaSorcery.

After leaving Edinburgh, Adrian joined Pinpoint Analysis Limited in London, meeting business partner Antony Sellen, with whom he co-founded Business Geographics in 1993.

This company was one of the leaders in its field – particularly in desktop market analysis and web-based mapping – and Business Geographics was sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1997.

On leaving Business Geographics in 2000, Tear and Sellen were keen to use their knowledge of database-driven web sites to service the growing number of companies wanting a sophisticated online presence.

Joined by a third partner, Ryley Best, the team co-founded Allegran Limited in 2002, which launched LoopyLotto, a daily 'Win £1 million' free lottery site. Advertiser-funded, the site experienced rapid growth, gaining around 2 million registered users over two years.

Again inspired by developments in the States the opt-in email list of LoopyLotto was used to drive users to a new, free, online dating site, LoopyLove. The userbase acquired through lotto emails was soon augmented by successful pay-per-click marketing using the new tools on offer from Google.

The dating business grew phenomenally quickly, reaching an annual turnover of around £14 million and serving more than 25% of the UK dating market. Christopher Roper (now a non-executive director of MegaSourcery) had invested in Allegran at an early stage, and became its non-executive Chairman.

Allegran Limited was sold in March 2006 to Daily Mail General Trust. Adrian and his colleagues exited September 2007.

Adrian retains his interest in geography, GIS, web development and business in general. He is studying for a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Portsmouth and advises a number of corporate clients on making the best use of their Internet presence, dividing his time between London, Scotland and Sussex.