He first got involved after the Pankhursts and Porter tried to sell their business for £18million in 2002, when it was making revenues of £6.6million a year.
After that ploy failed, Murphy joined the business as part of a management buy-in, a process that involves newcomers taking a stake in the business in return for investment and expertise.
Just keeping the site going was a challenge under the amount of traffic we were getting.” What they needed was a big hitter from the business world to take the company to the next level.
He arrived in the shape of Michael Murphy, former chief operating officer of the Financial Times.
Realising the power of the internet, and a desire to find out what some of her old school friends were up to and whether they too had families — she came up with the idea of Friends Reunited.It marks the end of a very British love affair with an enterprise that was born in the spare bedroom of a semi-detached house in Barnet, north London.The way founder Steve Pankhurst tells it, the site was very much the result of a light-bulb moment over the kitchen table.And remember to join our newsletter so you never miss out on any Friends Reunited Dating deals and discounts again. The website that helped users get back in touch with friends from school and university was after all the first online social network to make a big impact in Britain.The founders are believed to have given up 40 per cent of the company’s shares at this point.