Ideoba, a government backed technology business set up by an ex MP and a young man he randomly met, has gone out of business with nothing to show for the public money that was pumped into it.
The story of Ideoba goes back to 2010, when ex Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price stepped down from parliament and took up a fellowship Harvard. While there he made an unlikely friendship with an attractive 21 year old man called Andre Auerbach. Two years later they set up a “hi-tech” business together in Bridgend South Wales, with significant funding from the Welsh Government.
The company’s launch was met with much fanfare in the press; Ideoba promised to create 100 local jobs and made extraordinary claims about what it was building. They pitched themselves as the “Google of expertise,” that would have the “capacity to map the total global knowledge base of an estimated three hundred million professionals.” They also bragged other countries were in a bidding war to lure them away from Wales..
It’s not known exactly how much public money was given to Idebola, but in February Auerbach claimed the Welsh Government had agreed to fund the company by up to £1 million. Two months later the company has closed after employing just 11 people..