He kept in touch with the founders, he said, and seeing that PimEyes was starting to get more and more attention in the media, a largely disgusting variety. In 2020, PimEyes claimed to be a new owner who wanted to remain anonymous, and the corporate headquarters moved from Poland to Seychelles, a popular African offshore tax haven.
Mr. Gobronidz said he had “heard” sometime last year that the new owner of the site wanted to sell him. So he quickly decided to raise funds for the offer, the beachfront villa he inherited from his grandparents and borrowed large sums from his younger brother Shalva Gobronidz, a software engineer at a bank. The professor will not disclose how much he has paid.
“The amount was not as large as one might expect,” said Mr. Gobronidz said.
In December, Mr. Gobronidez formed EMEARobotics, a corporation to acquire PimEyes and registered it in Dubai due to the low tax rates in the UAE. He said he has retained most of the site’s small tech and support team, and has hired a consulting firm in Belize to handle inquiries and regulatory questions.
Mr. Gobronidz has rented an office space for Pimise in a tower in downtown Tbilisi. It is still being renovated, with light fixtures hanging loosely from the ceiling.
Tatia Dolidas, Srina’s companion. At a European university, Gobronidz described her as “curious” and “stubborn” and said she was surprised when he told her he was buying a face search engine.
“It was hard to imagine Georgie as a businessman,” she said. Dolidze said by email.
He is now a businessman who owns a company embroiled in controversy, primarily because he has no special right to control our images as we never expected to meet in this way. Mr. Gobronidz said facial recognition technology would be used to control people if governments and large companies had exclusive access to it.