Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kiosk software firm Netshift reborn as NS Systems

Greg Swistak over at Kiosks.org has the amazing story of once high-flying Netshift, a maker of kiosk software, who apparently got screwed by a major deal and couldn't fund ongoing operations:

"According to [NetShift founder Nigel] Seed, the partners never paid for the software, although they continue to use it. Further, they began developing their own competitive software even though the contract with NetShift prohibited it.

"Seed’s description of what happened was a bit more colorful, as you can imagine, and not suitable for print. But basically, according to Seed, the partners just decided not to pay.

Without the big contract, NetShift didn’t have many options. Seed went back to his majority investor, petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell, to explain the situation and seek additional funds to stabilize the company. But Shell had had their fill after investing 5 million pounds and 2 million pounds, respectively, in earlier rounds of financing. Shell had also been personally involved in the contract negotiations that resulted in the current situation and knew the score.

"With less lofty goals and a reduced staff, NS Systems Limited is focused on converting customers from NetShift and closing the deals that were in the pipeline. Seed feels that if NS Systems can get 50 percent to 60 percent of the old customers the company will be profitable. Three months or so from now they will start looking for new customers.

"This time things will be different, according to Seed, "No outside capital will be needed, the company will grow slowly and through ongoing business.'"

Read the rest of the amazing article here.

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