Joshua Hannah, the founder of which later merged with betting exchange operator The Sporting Exchange to form Betfair, has retired from the company’s board.

Founded in 1999 by Hannah and Vince Minical, was one of the first companies in the UK to offer person-to-person betting and was acquired by The Sporting Exchange in March 2002.

Hannah has served as a director of the business since 2002 after losing out to Ed Wray for the chief executive role at the enlarged company. He became a non-executive director of Betfair when it was incorporated in 2008 and presided over the company’s 2010 flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

Commenting on his departure, Betfair chairman Gerald Corbett thanked Hannah for his “enormous contribution” to the operator over the past 10 years.

“He has seen the company grow from its early days as an internet start-up, through to flotation and to where we are today,” Corbett said. “My fellow directors and I wish him well for the future.”

Since 2009, Hannah has served as a general partner at investment firm Matrix Partners. He is currently involved in the social casino sector, having led an investment in the Austin-based studio Bee Cave Games, and will work closely with the founders as they develop their product portfolio.

He also acquired how-to directory eHow in 2004, and revitalised the business before selling it off to Demand Media in 2006. At Matrix he has also invested in question-and-answer site Quora, cloud-based software developer Huddle, and dashboard XML widget Klip.

Shares in Betfair Group plc (Co. Data) (LSE:BET) were trading down 1.17 per cent in London Tuesday morning at 1,012.00 pence per share.