Pornhub, here comes Rocco Meliambro: the cannabis entrepreneur

Pornhub, here comes Rocco Meliambro: the cannabis entrepreneur


Pornhub changes owner. Ethical Capital Partners led by Italian-Canadian cannabis entrepreneur Rocco Meliambro has acquired MindGeek, a Canadian company in the online pornography and adult entertainment sector. Called the world leader in online pornography, its portfolio includes YouPorn, Pornhub, Tube8, Xtube, SexTube and RedTubeche and the like. This is the first operation of Ethical Capital, a newborn investment fund that intends to dedicate itself to technology companies that “present legal and regulatory complexities and that value transparency and responsibility”.

At the helm of the fund, which is based in Ottawa, in addition to Meliambro, an entrepreneur known in Canada for investments in the cannabis sector, are criminal lawyer Fady Mansour and Derek Ogden, former chief superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mountend Police.

No indiscretion on the financial details of the affair, but it should be considered that Mindgeek is the world’s leading operator of online porn. According to data from the analysis firm Similarweb, Pornhub was the twelfth most visited website in the world last year. The company is based in Luxembourg, but the operational headquarters are in Canada: according to some reconstructions, Mindgeek was worth over 20 billion euros two years ago.

Last June, after allegations that they had published explicit videos without consent or with minors, CEO Feras Antoon and chief operating officer David Tasillo resigned effective immediately, while remaining shareholders of Mindgeek. It is not the first trouble of the company, which in 2020 came close to bankruptcy: Pornhub was cut off from the Mastercard and Visa payment circuit following investigations that identified illegal content on the platform.

Ethical Capital has confirmed that former Mindgeek owners Bernd Bergmair, Feras Antoon and David Tassillo are no longer with the company. The adult entertainment industry will always be subject to significant legal and regulatory scrutiny. Our pre-shutdown analyzes revealed that MindGeek is operating legally and responsibly. We look forward to communicating the future journey of MindGeek and its holdings.”


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