Maverick US billionaire Mark Cuban has created a Whatsapp-Snapchat mash-up

The Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank judge is the latest to wade into the crowded messaging app market.

by
Last Updated: 09 Dec 2014

If only the business bods fronting Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice were quite so audacious, British business would be a whole lot more interesting. US billionaire Mark Cuban, who owns basketball team Dallas Mavericks and is a judge on Shark Tank (the US version of Dragons’ Den), has launched a free Whatsapp-Snapchat hybrid app, the latest attempt to get in on the lucrative but increasingly crowded messaging market.
 
Cyber Dust promises messages that self-destruct after 30 seconds without a trace, as well as notifications if anyone screenshots your exchanges (something not available on Snapchat, although it could feasibly add the feature pretty easily).
 
Cuban claims legal troubles gave him the idea for the app. ‘It was watching the SEC taking every digital message I gave them and apply whatever context it wanted to apply. No matter what the truth was,’ Cuban told Forbes.
 
‘Then I saw the success of Snapchat and realized that I wasn’t the only one who had a need to reduce my digital footprint.’ At least he’s honest it’s a bit of a rip-off, but tapping into concerns about anything and everything posted online coming back to haunt people, on top of gripes about the NSA snooping on our texts and emails, he could potentially persuade lots to switch over from Whatsapp et al.
 
Cuban has his fingers in pies ranging from software to arthouse cinemas, competed on Dancing With The Stars (aka Strictly Come Dancing) and appeared as himself on shows including the Dallas reboot and The Simpsons. The entrepreneur made his first billions selling internet radio site broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.9bn (£3.5bn) in 1999 at the height of the dotcom boom. If Cuban can cash in on the latest tech bubble MT may have to excuse all those TV appearances.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime