The late Gary Frisch and his partner Henry Badenhorst moved to the UK from South
Africa in 1997. Initially, they operated a computer consultancy company that
worked on revenue management systems. In 1999, a friend asked if they could
help him with finding a boyfriend since he was too busy running his own
business. They had a look at the internet and at the time there was nothing
relevant. They decided to write an online programme which would make the
communication process much easier. That was the original Gaydar - and the rest
When Gaydar launched in November 1999, it was revolutionary because everything
was instant. Gary and Henry had developed two new features; the "Who's-On-Line"
page that told you who else was actually there, and "Instant Messaging", which
meant you could reach people and chat with them immediately.
They had enough faith in the product to develop it further - one worked during
the day, the other during the night. Within just a few months, enough people
had joined up as paying members to allow them to employ other staff.
Membership grew rapidly by around 10% a month until the end of the first year.
By November 2000, there were 78,000 members. By November 2001, there were
220,000 members. By November 2002, there were 640,000. At the end of 2004, they
had more than 1.2 million members - 500,000 in the UK alone. By early 2007 it
had over 3.8 million members.
QSoft is now a network of complementary new media brands that include the
world’s leading gay and lesbian websites.
This network captures the important gay marketplace at different times of the
day and also at different times in their lives. Advertisers and brands who want
to target the gay and lesbian audience can now do so through a time and
cost-effective one stop shop.
QSoft’s network of sites serves more than 300 million page impressions per
month to over 5.2 million registered and audited users. This makes us the
largest gay lifestyle and dating site in both Australia and the UK.
Gaydar in particular has grown to become one of the biggest and most recognised
brands in the global gay marketplace.
Founder and Chairman Gary Frisch died suddenly, aged 38, in London on February
10 2007. Henry Badenhorst continues to run the Gaydar portfolio as Chairman.
Gary Frisch – Co Founder and Chairman
Gaydar co-founder Gary Frisch was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1969.
He attended Boksburg High School and then studied computer sciences at the
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, during which time he worked for
De Beers Industrial Diamond Division.
On graduating, Gary set up his first computer software company, Frisoft
Software, which he later sold to Q Data plc (now Business Connection, one of
South Africa's biggest information technology companies) in 1994.
Gary became technical director of one of the plc’s divisions until 1997 when he
moved to the UK to launch QSoft Consulting. In 2006, Gary appeared at Number 3
on the Pink List of the most influential gay people in Britain, compiled by the
Independent on Sunday newspaper.
During his lifetime, Gary supported the work of several charities including the
Terrence Higgins Trust and Crusaid. He died in London on February 10 2007, aged