Bankrupt push media vendor IFusion
is being purchased by AirMedia
approximately $250,000, according to sources inside IFusion and close to AirMedia.
AirMedia runs the AirMedia Live Internet Broadcast Network, a one-way
wireless push technology service running on hardware called the AirMedia Internet Antenna. The company will reportedly incorporate IFusion's Arrive software, which can be used to create push channels, into AirMedia's service. Last month, AirMedia cut a deal with Backweb Technologies to carry BackWeb'a content channels on its wireless network.
IFusion was one of the first push technology companies to appear on the
market and gained notoriety by becoming the new industry's first casualty.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 1997 and fired nearly
all its 140-person work force. The company also closed certain national
offices. IFusion currently runs on a skeleton crew out of offices in New
York and Vienna, Virginia.
Months earlier, however, IFusion had been a darling of the high-tech
promotional machine. Several publications, including CNET.COM, picked Arrive as one of the hot new products of Fall Comdex trade show in November 1996. Prudential Securities had invested $10 million into the company. Former employees also said that the company at one point discussed further financing from CNET investor Intel (INTC). The company had been planning
a launch of its product in early May.
The downfall is attributable to mismanagement by spend-happy executives, said
sources and other observers in the push industry. Several ex-employees have
blamed Michael Recantati, the company's Ferrari-driving CEO and a major investor, for a lack of focus.
Kelsey Selander, marketing vice president for BackWeb, said at a panel discussion it was a lack of a clear
business strategy that led to IFusion's downfall;
namely, its attempt to be both a technology and a
IFusion remains in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sources said, so the sale of the
assets will be subject to review by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. AirMedia
will buy all of IFusion's assets, said sources. Arrive, however, is the
most significant asset. When the deal is completed by the end of the month,
AirMedia will shut down its Vienna, Virginia, offices, added sources at IFusion.
AirMedia and bankruptcy counsel for IFusion were contacted, but could not