Blog Post

Vindigo Shuts Down And Lays Off 30; For-Side Retreats From U.S.

New York-based Vindigo, an early mobile content company dating back to 1999, is shutting down and laying off its 30-plus employees, SAI reports. Separately, we also heard rumblings that the company shut down yesterday afternoon. The closure is not much of a surprise given the company’s convoluted past, which we’ve reported on extensively over the last few years.

In 2004, Japanese-based For-Side bought both Vindigo and Zingy, which together had a staff of 175. And, since then has suffered from constant executive turnover, multiple direction changes and business closures, including its ringtone, wallpaper and content application businesses, which was its bread-and-butter before For-Side took control. Early on, Vindigo was also known for developing MapQuest Mobile and numerous city guides, and it planned to shift back to those roots, but it never materialized.

For years, For-Side has been trying to sell the company, but hasn’t had any bites. Why? Reportedly, the company was asking for $10 million and a non-refundable $200,000 check just to look at the books, SAI reports.

Update: Jason Devitt, who ran Vindigo before he sold it to For-Side.com (JSD: 2330) and left a year later over disagreements with the Japanese company

11 Responses to “Vindigo Shuts Down And Lays Off 30; For-Side Retreats From U.S.”

  1. Manford

    What an excellent explanation! Not mention who got the most of money? Who was the beneficiary? The plot of outsiders and insiders(includes some in Church) to cheat for-side? The Zingy had been in huge mess technically and administratively when it was sold?

    http://www.fabricegrinda.com/?p=720#comments
    Zafari
    April 15th, 2009 | 8:23 pm

    If it were huge success why the hell today zingy is no more along with the acquired vindigo. Something was not revealed yet?
    #
    Fabrice Grinda
    April 16th, 2009 | 5:38 am

    Zafari:

    Long story. Sales went from $1 million in 2002, to $5 million in 2003, to $50 million in 2004 and $200 million in 2005. I sold the company in May 2004 and stayed as CEO until December 2005.

    Unfortunately the Japanese company I sold it to was impossible to work with. They did not speak English. They did not understand the business. They did not let me invest in diversifying our revenues and expanding into conjoint businesses. Instead they took our profits and sent them to Japan.

    As a result, when, after I left, the margin compression and disintermediation I had told them would happen started happening, they were caught unprepared. Moreover, they managed to alienate pretty much the entire management team which left.

    Ultimately, they realized they could not manage the company and having lost most of their clients, they merely closed the business down. It was very sad.

    I definitely sold the company to the wrong buyer.

  2. Like Zingy's case it was the plot of insiders and outsiders to cheat for-side for money. Vindigo was the same case.

    A paragraph from

    http://www.jasondevitt.com/starting-up/vindigo-rip/#idc-ctools

    Jason, why dont you tell us what were the points you disagreed with them?? And by the way it seems you made yourself rich selling the company… I only dont understand how could they paid you that much for buying your "BOX" without including the source code !! And finally, it is very hard to stablish any relation on their stocks fall with their desition of closing their subsidiary. All so called IT Companies in Japan were in their "BOOM" in those years and now, as many other companies in the world they are simply facing the results of the crunched credit problems you guys created in the States.

  3. Everybody pls thank our dear A.V. for that. Rumor has it he's trying to launch a start-up of his own. Curiously, no one's interested in investing.