Tech entrepreneur Thomas Pays has bought back penny auction site Smokoo for an undisclosed amount.
The site was closed down in 2012 after being bought out by local company, BidFair, which acquired the Smokoo brand name and all online associations with it, such as marketing campaigns and registered users.
Smokoo went live in August 2010 and grew from three to 18 staff in a matter of a few months, before expanding to Russia, France, the UK and the US.
Pays says the site will be re-launching in March. “We noticed a while ago that despite being bought, the Smokoo domain was inactive,” says Pays.
“After a bit of investigation, we found out that it had been inactive for a long period of time, while still receiving thousands of monthly visits. After a long negotiation, on 11 December 2013, we were able to purchase the domain in order to re-launch Smokoo.”
He also reveals the possibility of re-launching Smokoo has always been in the back of his mind, and “now that we finally have the opportunity, we are seizing the moment.
“We have many surprises for the re-launch of Smokoo and we are going to make it even bigger and better than it was before. The fact that the domain was inactive was just the push we needed to take the first steps towards finally bringing Smokoo in line with the vision we have had for it for some time,” he says.
“All we can say is that it is going to be very easy to use, and this time round, Smokoo is going to be free,” Pays adds.
According to Pays, subscribers who want to become “instant millionaires” with Smokoo will just have to register online at www.smokoo.com and wait till the site launches to find out all the details. “We have taken every step necessary to ensure that the entire site and its procedures are above board.”
Additionally, he says, Smokoo has made a point of listening to and learning from the user feedback and intends to bring users the best possible user experience.
“When we launched Smokoo the first time, we were able to grow it from zero to 300 000 visits per month in the space of six months. This time round, we are more experienced and plan to bring Smokoo in line with what users want. This, coupled with more optimised marketing strategies, we believe will bring us even better results than last time and improve user satisfaction,” Pays concludes.