Motricity, the mobile infrastructure company that acquired InfoSpace (NSDQ: INSP) Mobile for $135 million in October, has been relatively q…

image Motricity, the mobile infrastructure company that acquired InfoSpace (NSDQ: INSP) Mobile for $135 million in October, has been relatively quiet following a burst of publicity over its controversial headquarters move, opting to focus on the structural changes, wooing new customers and working on contract renewals. Longer term, though, CEO Ryan Wuerch plans to acquire more companies, raise even more capital and expand outside of its carrier customer base to work directly with media companies and handset manufactures. With such lofty goals, the company has a ton to execute on. For background, Motricity bought InfoSpace Mobile to beef up its carrier storefront and portal services, which manage and organize the millions of pieces of mobile content that end-users consume on a daily basis. To do so, the company raised nearly $200 million, which doubled the amount it had raised to date, and added high-profile Carl Icahn to the board among others. Following the transaction, Wuerch tipped the company on its head, by moving the headquarters from Durham, N.C. to Bellevue, Wash., laying off hundreds of its East Coast employees and choosing InfoSpace’s technology as the platform it will use going forward. After the jump, some lengthy excerpts from a 90-minute interview with Wuerch and Brendan Benzing, Motricity’s SVP of product strategy and marketing.

Disclosure: Motricity was a sponsor of our recent Seattle event


  1. I think it's Carl Ichan's son Brett, not Carl himself, that is on Motricity's board

  2. It actually is Carl on the Board. After he publically admitted to an investment conference that his investment in Motricity "was not the right decision" and that his son "talked me into it" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVyvrmAX6aw), he removed Brett from the Board and put himself and Hunter Gary on the Board.

  3. HA HA HA, come on dude. How can Ryan really believe that they are going IPO? Must be the CEO mentality.

  4. Semper Augustus Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Benzing seems to really understand the marketplace and where this company fits in. Wuerch talks A LOT but never says anything of importance, typical "Corporate Weenie". He's outclassed by Benzing and all the other "Real Executives" that have the misfortune of reporting to him.

    Motricity's outlook still looks bleak as their business model will be hard to sustain in a weakening economy. Even if they make all the right moves, an IPO is unlikely to succeed.

  5. Semper Septembus Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    @ Augustus

    That is because, in reality, Benzing is a legitimate executive whose background has some relevancy to the space (AOL, Bell Atlantic). Weurch? Well his prior background is in multilevel marketing businesses (ponzie schemes?) where he honed his "storytelling" skills (which are unparalleled btw).

    Don't get me wrong, his act has raised $400M+ and he himself acknowleges that "Motricity was very strong on the marketing and the sales and forward leaning version (vision?) and being very loud about it". One could read that as a company that could sell a good story but not deliver on it.

    Historically you will also see that his executive teams almost always have a short tenure. I don't expect Benzing to be any different. Time will tell.

    As for an IPO, not now or soon.

  6. Hmph. Can't imagine why Durham employees feel disenfranchised. But Wuerch is right, there are announcements coming…and they're not good. At least he's Bellevue's problem now!

  7. Ahh…yet another smorgasboard of smathering symantics from a guy who can deliver the snake oil better than P.T. Barnum.

    Wonder if he still gets the lunches under the domed lid each day?

    I guess he figures the faster and more he talks the less anyone will notice the stench of dead bodies and pure horse manure he has left in his wake.
    (Kind of like the car salesman who turns the radio up louder during your test drive hoping you won't notice that he farted….)

  8. Why can't Motricity create an "app store" for non-I-phones? They are surely in a position to do just that. They should leverage their unique position in the mobile space. If an IPO is not in the works, Motricity could easily be acquired by companies like QCOM or MOT(which Icahn is also a large shareholder of btw) or even a YHOO. If they are announcing "new wins" soon, things can't be too bad for their business, huh whiners?

  9. Hey JH….you and Ryan forgot to mention that they have not yet announced that they lost the AT&T;contract. How's that whiner?

  10. They lost the AT&T;contract??? Isn't that the bulk of their revenue???


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