He saved in contact with the founders, he stated, and watched as PimEyes started getting increasingly more consideration within the media, mostly of the scathing variety. In 2020, PimEyes claimed to have a brand new proprietor, who wished to remain nameless, and the company headquarters had been moved from Poland to Seychelles, a preferred African offshore tax haven.
Mr. Gobronidze stated he “heard” someday final yr that this new proprietor of the location wished to promote it. So he shortly set about gathering funds to make a suggestion, promoting a seaside villa he had inherited from his grandparents and borrowing a big sum from his youthful brother, Shalva Gobronidze, a software program engineer at a financial institution. The professor wouldn’t reveal how a lot he had paid.
“It wasn’t as huge an quantity as somebody would possibly count on,” Mr. Gobronidze stated.
In December, Mr. Gobronidze created an organization, EMEARobotics, to amass PimEyes and registered it in Dubai due to the United Arab Emirates’ low tax price. He stated he had retained many of the web site’s small tech and assist crew, and employed a consulting agency in Belize to deal with inquiries and regulatory questions.
Mr. Gobronidze has rented workplace area for PimEyes in a tower in downtown Tbilisi. It’s nonetheless being renovated, lighting fixtures hanging free from the ceiling.
Tatia Dolidze, a colleague of Mr. Gobronidze’s at European College, described him as “curious” and “cussed,” and stated she had been shocked when he instructed her that he was shopping for a face search engine.
“It was troublesome to think about Giorgi as a businessman,” Ms. Dolidze stated by electronic mail.
Now he’s a businessman who owns an organization steeped in controversy, primarily round whether or not we’ve any particular proper of management over pictures of us that we by no means anticipated to be discovered this manner. Mr. Gobronidze stated facial recognition know-how could be used to regulate folks if governments and massive firms had the one entry to it.