The Wikipedia article on Wheely sounds more like a cheap parody, as if Forrest Gump was chewing on candy at the bus stop and telling hipsters about the difficult years of his difficult student life in Swiss care. Yes, the son of the former head of the Kama region, the owner of the service, grew up far from the “heart of Russia”.


Imagine a picture: a rich and fanatical student from expensive cars by the time of his 21st birthday could not pass his license even in Zurich, where grandmothers with cataracts and children suffering from a hangover drive. And once again ordering a taxi with an Indian behind the wheel, or getting on a bus crowded with gypsies, Anton has an idea: why not open a sort of Aryan UBER, where blue-eyed blondes will drive, and black Mercedes instead of worn-out cars of unknown origin.


Chirkunov Jr. from childhood he was accustomed to a well-trained service, but he hardly needed to take his license with such a father.




It was decided to launch an innovative startup by 2010 in three countries at once: Switzerland, Austria and Holland. Naturally, money was needed, since at that time my father had already headed the Perm expanses for several years and regularly pumped out all kinds of resources from them. You can talk for a long time about the business of Chirkunov Sr.

Олег Чиркунов

Even before the opening of the Swiss version of Wheely, Anton Chirkunov tried himself as a manager of the same parent Norpexal (owns the family chain of supermarkets SemYa). They say he also took part in the launch of the Finaport investment platform, which was launched together with Alex Borisov, a common friend of Chirkunov Sr. Anatoly Chubais It would seem that he trained on cats, but ... "Wheely AG - Zurich" was unable to develop - the company has been in liquidation since 2016.


I had to ask my dad for money again - he did not regret it, the main thing is to find a good place for his son. In a foreign get-together, decent Russian oligarchs will not understand if the offspring squanders the family's savings on yachts and restaurants. The current mainstream is business startups for children.


2012 Wheely opens offices in London and Russia. Investments - 45 million rubles, of which 5 million - a grant from the Moscow government (remember this moment), another $ 25 thousand were donated by the founder of VKontakte Pavel Durov and co-owner of Group Yuri Milner.


Here, carefully: two companies are opening in the capital of Great Britain: in March 2012 - the parent WHEELY TECHNOLOGIES LTD, in December - its London branch WHEELY LONDON LTD. It is interesting that a certain 62-year-old (now 70) VALAITIS Peter Anthony becomes the head of the latter. In British circles, this is a well-known garbage director - the chairman of the Pound, who has more than 3,000 registered companies on his account, where he signs the registration documents and dumps, taking a couple of hundred pounds. Here's what the British themselves write about this:


"It looks like a 'shell' company that is trading under a different name and given the dates above, probably not to be trusted ..."


This suggests one thing: initially, WHEELY LONDON LTD was prepared as another gasket with a fictitious owner, and not a promising startup. Anton Chirkunov will head WLL only 2 years later, in 2014.




History is developing in parallel in Russia. There the son of the governor launches LLC "VILI DEVELOPMENT" - sort of like for writing android and ios applications. With the departure of the Pope from his post, a real race is unleashed - where you can shove Wheely, and which of the loyal friends of the former head of the Kama region will now help. Through the efforts of the ex-minister of regional trade Konstantin Pyankov, "VILI-PERM" is created, subsidiaries and Russian copies of the father's "EKS Handels AG" establish "VILI" and "VILI CORP". The startup turns out to be very conveniently embedded in the business empire built by Chirkunov Sr. And given the loyalty of the authorities, profits are starting to grow, and the friends of the former governor are looking at the office as a platform for "gray" scrolling of electronic money.


Here we recall the closest associate of Oleg Chirkunov - the former head of his administration, Arkady Katz. An enterprising assistant encourages investors to take part in the business of an old friend, at the same time to have a bitcoin margin. The founder of the digital bank "Bank 131" Dmitry Eremeev, the CEO of OneTwoTrip Mikhail Sokolov, the co-founder of the Fotolia photo bank Oleg Cheltsov invest in Wheely. Another $ 15 million is contributed by Denis Shafranik, the son of former Energy Minister Yuri Shafranik. Under this case, another CJSC "WHEELY LTD" is registered in London, where the leaders now include KATS, ARKADII; SHAFRANIK, DENIS; SOKOLOV, MIKHAIL ARTEMOVICH; but still, Mr Oleg Chirkunov is clearly the owner of the main share of the company.




Like his father, Anton Chirkunov begins to acquire connections. Among them are partners in the unsuccessful startup System health management ”Ilya Voloshin is the son of the former head of the Presidential Administration, Anton Mau is the son of the rector of the RANEPA, Artyom Surkov is the child of the odious Vladislav Surkov. But for the most part, Chirkunov Jr.'s friends are the London get-together of the children of wealthy Russians who left for permanent residence.

In 2016, a certain Daria Tarasenkova joined the WHEELY LONDON LTD and WHEELY TECHNOLOGIES LTD companies. In appearance - nothing special, except that the girl has a twin sister Catherine, with whom they graduated from Queen Mary University together, and a couple of photos in a half-naked form from the time of their tempestuous youth.

The father of the twins is interesting, Vladimir Tarasenkov. Judging by the pictures on social networks, this man was very happy when he finally received a Cypriot passport in 2016. The fact is that for many years the man has been managing the "FUND FOR ASSISTANCE TO VETERANS" VETERAN-INVEST ". If anyone does not know, a lot has been written about him on the Internet.


Veteran-Invest began its activity in the securities market in 1993, exchanging privatization checks and money of Russians for its shares. The collected funds were invested in shares of privatized enterprises.


Once it included: JSC Energoavtomatika, JSC Voronezh Poultry Plant, JSC Krios, JSC Ramenskagrostroy, JSC Svetogorsk, JSC Technical Paper Factory Gorbovo, JSC North-West Shipping Company, JSC Tulsky arms factory ", JSC NPO Saturn.


"Effective managers" exchanged the remaining savings of people for candy wrappers, they bought up large industrial facilities for them, and then, after the denomination, they declared that they were not guilty, and now they can give no more than 3 minimum wages, well, targeted assistance to veterans - up to 5 thousand rubles. if they live.


Some industrial companies were sold not without the participation of Tarasenkov. For this money, his daughters went to London. There the girls met the right people.


Among the London friends turned out to be Ivan Amerikov - the son of the chairman of the board of directors of APR-Bank Sergei Amerikov, who entered the IFC Prokhorov. The young man impressed both Daria Tarasenkova and her companion. It's just that Amerikov is one of the founders of the Mintco car selection service - what Chirkunov's potential employees need so much (among Mintco's partners - the beneficiary of WHEELY LTD - Onnetwotrip). By the way, in 2018, after Daria left Wheely, she and her sister opened an online boutique selling bouquets and cookies at the same address where Ivan Amerikov registered his company in London - 51 QUEENSWOOD COURT, KINGS AVENUE, SW4 8EB.

Екатерина Тарасенкова

Ekaterina Tarasenkova, sister of Wheely's managing director, also dabbled in business before flowers and cookies. In her historical homeland, she established the BAFIN FINENENSHEL office. The main activity of which is monetary intermediation, in other words: laundry for money laundering. Here's what job seekers wrote at this company:


On hh I found a vacancy "assistant administrator in the company" bafin financialshel "... We were invited. I was flattered by a good salary, but when I arrived I understood. that I got into the next sharashkin office - no signs, no names, and only a crowd of people like me.


For a couple of years of its existence, "BAFIN FINENSCHEL" managed to get involved in several unpleasant stories: debts of more than 30 million rubles, a criminal case for embezzlement of funds, and Tarasenkova's people kidnapped the head of one of the companies and forcibly took him to the bank to transfer them to their account almost $ 2 million (read the definition of arbitration).




Another companion of Anton Chirkunov has not yet been seen in crime reports. At the beginning of 2018, Arthur Bilalov, a University of Kent graduate who previously worked in several large offices, comes to the London office of Wheely. In just a couple of months, the 29-year-old is heading the British and European service areas.

Perhaps Chirkunov Jr. liked the smiling dandy himself, perhaps he was impressed by his work - Bilalov was somehow fond of music and even worked on the strange song "Maccaron". Perhaps Anton has known him since the days of his father's governorship. In a 2012 article by Kommersant, the vice-president of the Center for Political Technologies Rostislav Turovsky stated that Oleg Chirkunov had favored and once brought Akhmed Bilalov, who was close to him, to the Perm Territory. This odious figure is well known to the entire political Olympus of Russia as a businessman, billionaire and favorite of Dmitry Medvedev. But people became aware of him after a public flogging from Vladimir Putin at Sochi facilities, which the president decided to personally check.

Criminal cases were opened against the Bilalov family in the Russian Federation. Ahmed and his younger brother Magomed, also a prominent businessman, fled abroad. They spent most of their time in London, where their beloved nephew and son Arthur was growing up right before our eyes.

Магомед Билалов

By the way, by some amazing coincidence, just a couple of weeks after Arthur came to Wheely, the service takes over the largest taxi brands in the south of the Russian Federation. It's just that the Bilalovs have been hilling the Krasnodar Territory for a long time, and much of what is happening there now is not done without the knowledge of the family, as, indeed, in Perm not done eaten without Chirkunov's suggestion.




Well, then the pattern from all of the above. The Chirkunovs-Wheely felt that they were already ripe to butt the laws of nature and business. Corrections were made by the pandemic, or rather the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow banning "transportation services on demand" that refuse to transmit data on the movement of drivers in order to "respond in a timely manner to possible infection." Roughly speaking, the Chirkunovs did not care about the safety of workers and passengers.


At the same time, the son of the ex-governor is playing for broke: through newspapers and ordered articles, he turns to the mayor's office for 2 million rubles each to allow only Wheely to work. Despite the refusal, the service continues to provide services, resulting in 90 days of blocking.


After - rough PR on allegedly "purity of thoughts" through YouTube channels, tweets of bloggers. An outright farce with a claim in a Dutch court against major players: "cool hipsters" from Wheely have laid their colleagues / competitors in the Netherlands Data Protection Authority (DDPA) for the fact that MLU Ltd, to which Russian Yandex and Uber are registered in Holland, reports data on the drivers of the Moscow authorities. And then Chirkunov even complained to British clerks about the actions of Russian officials. And here the financial assistance from the mayor's office in 5 million rubles, which was once allocated for the development of a startup, has been fundamentally forgotten.





The flirtations of the Chirkunovs with the snobs from the royal court, and at the same time the initiators of the anti-Russian sanctions, may have a logical continuation. Initiating a criminal case, publicly flogging, and then imprisoning the culprit in the Russian Federation is considered kind of like folk fun. And the upper-class managers driving around in Wheely Mercedes will be the first to applaud the public execution and the collapse of the business of the family of the ex-governor of Prikamye.


This is not the first wake-up call for investors.

Денис Шафранник

One of the key figures of the current Wheely, Denis Shafranik, is the son of the former Minister of Energy, adviser to Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, and now the head of the interstate company SoyuzNefteGaz. It's clear from my father's regalia: Denis Yuryevich is packed more than well.


He calls himself those who "want to make the world and the planet more beautiful." Considering a family business based on siphoning resources from the earth, not a bad dream. Likes to give interviews and declare that "no longer a child" and independently earns a living, without touching the parent's assets.


But Denis forgets to tell about his dad's comrades, through whom he was lucky to build a small but profitable investment empire. Recently it turned out that their joint company with ex-adviser to the head of Russian Railways Alexei Taicher, the company "Inkor-Invest" for several years received government orders for more than 275 million rubles. The most interesting thing is that this company does not have any assets, but judging by the tenders, it is considered almost the only provider of services for the leasing of premises for the Moscow government.


And for some reason, Shafranik Jr. really does not like to remember where his father from Tyumen got so many useful connections. But the reformer pope is called one of the founders of the oligarchic system of modern Russia. With his submission, in the 90s, many oil-producing enterprises were privatized and sold. In a longtime interview, he himself admits that everything went awry. With all this, after the minister's resignation, friends-oligarchs, as gratitude for their comfortable future, helped the “godfather” to drink a portion of the energy cocktail. This is how the oil group of the CIS countries was created - "SoyuzNefteGaz" Shafranik with billions of dollars in assets.



Another, as it is now fashionable to say, "business angel" Mikhail Sokolov also risks losing everything that he invested in Wheely. The CEO of OneTwoTrip and co-founder of MNFST loves to tell the story of how he sold gum stickers to boys as a child, which he made his first capital on. But the biography will not say where the young man found money to study at the prestigious Columbia Business School, and the proceeds from the sale of candy wrappers would hardly be enough to start on investment sites.


Like all the "golden children" from the Wheely team, Sokolov's parents turned out to be difficult people. True, unlike the dads and mothers of his eminent partners, nothing is openly said about them. Mikhail himself is registered in an apartment on Rublevskoye Highway in Moscow, and his father Artem Sokolov is listed as its owner. Once he became the founder of the Medalliance Engineering trading house - a company that is part of a large conglomerate of metropolitan and Moscow region firms producing and supplying medical equipment.


A company with the same name is registered in Geneva. Well, in the Russian Federation it is a member of the Medalliance group, which collects multimillion orders from dozens of private and state clinics. Imagine what kind of connections they have, if within a couple of months after the announcement of the pandemic, Sokolov Sr.'s companions open a plant for the production of masks, which are supplied to almost all state institutions of the country.


Svetlana Genrikhovna Sokolova's mother also has her own business. In addition to the chairmanship in the elite SNT Yakhroma, the auto business is interesting. A woman has three joint enterprises - "Likom-trade", "Auto-Agent" and "Sveart-Auto". All of them are not active now. The latter company is open jointly with a certain Kournikov Artem Anatolyevich. Presumably, this is the brother of Yuri Anatolyevich Kournikov, director of the Danmar-Finance Investment Company.


This is an LLC with murky founders from Britain (WESTAGE CAPITAL LLP PARTNERSHIP - no one announces the official names of partners, they are all offshore) and it owns almost half of the fields and oil and gas companies in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. "Slavneft", "Mekami" - these are all of them. And here we remember the ex-minister Shafranik, who at one time was the governor of the Tyumen region. The former official, even after his resignation, kept an eye on the processes in the region, where up to 60% of oil is produced from all over the Russian Federation. It is clear why Sokolov also invested in the dubious Wheely behind Shafranik Jr.


Interestingly, Mikhail positions himself as a “business angel”. Under the auspices of Denmar, an investment boutique of the same name has appeared in the chain. As they say, this is a global network of swindlers that siphons huge money (here's the capital from candy wrappers and stickers) from naive businessmen.


Only one Wheely beneficiary can have the biggest loss - Mikhail Katz. He may lose not only everything that he managed to earn in the empire of the ex-governor of Perm. A detailed history of the right hand of Chirkunov, his general manager, is painted here Katz may lose his closest friend - Oleg Anatolyevich. When it comes to court, such comrades very quickly turn into witnesses.




There is no need to explain that Wheely's PR specialists have long gone too far with the "wheels" and they themselves are driving the Chirkunovs' business under the plinth in the difficult conditions of a pandemic. Although, perhaps this is just such a new way of bankruptcy and the departure of Oleg Anatolyevich to retirement? The former governor has long been quietly growing vineyards and drinking wine in his castle in France.


And here we recall, apparently, one of the favorite family films of little Anton Olegovich - "Free Willie". The main idea there is this: in order to get insurance for the allegedly accidentally killed whale, the owners of the aquarium decide to kill a three-ton killer whale nicknamed Willie, which does not bring income. A worthy sequel, you won’t say anything.




The media wrote that Oleg Chirkunov has an illegitimate daughter from Svetlana Kuzmich, co-owner of several companies of the ex-governor's holding. - old page of Anton Chirkunov in VK


One of the two friends whose accounts have been removed from the old page is a certain Anna Chirkunova. - deleted Anna Chirkunova's VK page, opened from the phone number to which the Facebook page is registered - Ann Chirkunova.


To be continued

Tomasz Wisniewski