How One Company Survived the MVNO Implosion

Visage Mobile

Remember Visage Mobile? The San Francisco-based company was one of the unlucky few that got caught up in the MVNO heyday. Founded in 2001, Visage helped Disney (NYSE: DIS) Mobile and others resell mobile services directly to consumers. It raised an astonishing $90 million in venture capital.

Now that most of the MVNOs have closed their doors for good, Visage may be one of the few related companies still standing. The WSJ has an interesting story about how the company was able to retool its technology and is now selling software to businesses to help employers break down company phone bills by individual user.

In October 2007, Visage used some of its cash to acquire a start-up called Agistics and the following year, sold some assets to Convergys. Those two events, plus restructuring its commitments to investors, gave it the ability to start from scratch. It has now raised an additional $2 million and is seeking another $1 million to breakeven. However, with its smaller scale ambitions, it will never likely be able to pay off its previous investments.

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