Tapinator was founded by a visionary team that has been
working together to build mobile games and applications since 2007.

Meet our Executive Team:

Ilya Nikolayev, CEO

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Mr. Nikolayev is an accomplished technology executive who previously served as the CEO and Co-Founder of Familybuilder. In 2007, Mr. Nikolayev created one of the first successful Facebook applications, Family Tree, and grew the property to over 6 million monthly active unique users and 45 million total users. Mr. Nikolayev raised venture capital funding, grew the business to profitability, and successfully sold Familybuilder to Intelius in 2011, generating a significant return for all of its investors. Mr. Nikolayev was also a co-founder at InAppFuel, a business-to-business product for mobile game developers that was sold to Tapinator in 2014. Prior to Familybuilder, Mr. Nikolayev worked in banking for JP Morgan. Mr. Nikolayev graduated cum laude from New York University.

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Khurram Samad, CTO

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Mr. Samad leads software development for Tapinator's rapid launch games business. Previously, Mr. Samad founded GeniTeam, an outsourced development company specializing in mobile, with over 40 developers in-house. He is an experienced leader of offshore technical teams, focused on cost effectively creating high-quality games and applications across mobile platforms. Mr. Samad earned his BS in Computer Science from National University of Computer and Emerging Science. MBA from LUMS.

Andrew Merkatz, President

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Andrew Merkatz is a finance executive with 20 years of experience as an operator and investor in media and technology growth companies. From 2008-2015, Mr. Merkatz was a Managing Director of Investments at Vision Capital where he managed investments in digital media and software technology. Mr. Merkatz began his career at private equity firm, Interlaken Capital. He later served as Chief Operating Officer for Site-Specific, one of the first internet advertising agencies (sold to CKS Group), Vice President of Corporate Development at FLOORgraphics, a pioneering in-store media company (sold to News Corp.), and President of Predict It, a venture backed digital media company. In 2007, Mr. Merkatz co-founded Familybuilder, a leading Facebook app developer, which profitably scaled to more than 45 million users prior to the successful sale of the Company in 2011. In 2013, Mr. Merkatz co-founded InAppFuel, a developer of patented minigame software for mobile game developers that was acquired by Tapinator in 2014.  Mr. Merkatz joined Tapinator as the Company’s President in June of 2015.  Mr. Merkatz holds a B.A. in Economics, with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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Robert Crates, Independent Director

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Robert B. Crates has over 25 years of experience in private equity, investing in a broad range of industries and asset categories. Mr. Crates has served on the board of directors of numerous public and private companies. He has invested in leading venture capital and hedge funds and served as an advisory director to iEurope, a venture capital fund manager focused on Eastern Europe, and as an advisor/initial investor in the Global Undervalued Securities Hedge Fund. He is currently Chairman of Power-by-Power Texas, an electricity procurement, brokerage, and management company. Mr. Crates was previously the President and Co-Founder of Crates Thompson Capital, a private equity investment management company, the General Partner of a private equity fund managed for the principals of Luther King Capital Management, an investment advisory company with more than $10 billion under management, and an analyst in corporate banking with the United States Trust Company of New York. He is a graduate of Yale University. 

Teymour Farman-Farmaian, Independent Director

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Teymour Farman-Farmaian was Chief Acquisition and Retention Officer (later CMO) at Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming service, starting in 2011. In this role, Teymour was responsible for subscription revenues and led a team of over 100 employees. He helped triple revenue growth to hit a $500 million run rate, and achieve 7.5 million DAU. Teymour owned user subscription revenues, user acquisition (virals & engagement), global brand, payments, localization, customer service, and analytics. In 2012, Teymour left Spotify to focus on various start-ups with heavy viral and engagement components. Before Spotify, Teymour had spent close to two years with Zynga (ZNGA) as GM of Partnerships. Here, he was responsible for Zynga’s multi-billion dollar partnership with Facebook as well as relationships with Yahoo and Google (GOOG). In this role, Teymour helped launch over a dozen social games. Teymour went to Zynga after six years at Google. He had joined Google as Director of European Sales Operations, where he helped achieve ten figure revenues. His last position at Google was as Director of Sales Services, where he served deal teams working on partnerships (including AOL and eBay) responsible for 25% of Google’s revenue. Teymour has a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard University.