Tapinator was founded by a visionary team that has worked together to build mobile games and applications since 2007 and has achieved successful exits for their investors.

Meet our Executive Team

Ilya Nikolayev, CEO


Ilya Nikolayev is an accomplished technology executive who previously served as the CEO and Co-Founder of Familybuilder. In 2007, Mr. Nikolayev created one of the first successful Facebook applications, Family Tree, and grew the property to over 6 million monthly active unique users and 45 million total users. Mr. Nikolayev raised venture capital funding, grew the business to profitability, and successfully sold Familybuilder to Intelius in 2011, generating a significant return for all of its investors. Mr. Nikolayev was also a co-founder at InAppFuel, a patented minigame software for mobile game developers that was sold to Tapinator in 2014. Prior to Familybuilder, Mr. Nikolayev worked in banking for JP Morgan. Mr. Nikolayev is a frequently cited industry expert who has appeared recently on Fox Business, Bloomberg and TheStreet. Mr. Nikolayev graduated cum laude from New York University.

Andrew Merkatz, President


Andrew Merkatz is a finance executive with 20 years of experience as an operator and investor in media and technology growth companies. From 2008-2015, Mr. Merkatz was a Managing Director of Investments at Vision Capital where he managed investments in digital media and software technology. Mr. Merkatz began his career at private equity firm, Interlaken Capital. He later served as Chief Operating Officer for Site-Specific, one of the first internet advertising agencies (sold to CKS Group), Vice President of Corporate Development at FLOORgraphics, a pioneering in-store media company (sold to News Corp.), and President of Predict It, a venture backed digital media company. In 2007, Mr. Merkatz co-founded Familybuilder, a leading Facebook app developer, which was sold to Intelius in 2011. In 2013, Mr. Merkatz co-founded InAppFuel, a developer of patented minigame software for mobile game developers that was acquired by Tapinator in 2014.  Mr. Merkatz joined Tapinator as the Company’s President in June of 2015.  Mr. Merkatz holds a B.A. in Economics, with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Hilary Herscher, Board of Directors


Hilary Herscher was most recently the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Interlaken Management, a multi-generational single-family office based in New York City where he oversaw all functions of the private wealth management advisory firm from 2017 to 2020. Previously, Mr. Herscher was the CFO of Verus International, a boutique merchant bank and family office based in New York and Barbados where he was responsible for the bank’s private and public investments across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Prior to Verus, Mr. Herscher held senior corporate development roles at Pearson Television, Bertelsmann Music Group and Random House. Mr. Herscher has a BA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.