Feeds

SpinVox: Enter the Dragon!

Money to burn, Christina?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

To Marlow, where SpinVox today hosted a demonstration for journalists of its technology to convert voice messages to text: two groups of four journalists, to be precise. For a full report on the demo, see this report.

Not long after the presentation had got underway, the door opened and in came the chief executive and co-founder Christina Domecq. Any questions? Well, a few, actually - but we had time for just one. Here's the exchange in full.

I asked how much new money had just been invested in the firm at the weekend - an infusion which amongst other things saved the website from being pulled. The Financial Mail outlined some of the debts, country court judgements and High Court legal actions the company is juggling here, yesterday.

"Fifteen million," replied Domecq. "PaidContent got its number wrong," she added with a bit of a smirk.

Were these new investors, or were these existing investors?

All had invested in SpinVox before, she replied.

So, I said. At your current burn rate of £3.5m per month, I reckon that buys you three more months after current debts have been cleared.

Domecq challenged my calculation. "My burn rate?"

"Well, you got £53m in April last year. Fifteen months have elapsed and you've spent all the cash. That's £3.5m a month."

"Ah," said Domecq. "We also have money from investments. About £10m from investments".

We were about to ask if her numbers had come up on the Lottery, but suddenly it was clear question time was over - Domecq reiterated that SpinVox would be cashflow positive in 90 days, and with that, she was bustled out of the room and on her way.

So we're not sure if it's 15m dollars or sterling - or how much is debt and how much is equity.

We'll report on the presentation and technology demo in a subsequent report. In short, we were invited to try and trip up SpinVox's automation, with a version of Tenzing, the type-ahead software that the "quality control agents" - as SpinVox calls its call center staff - use, as backstop.

It may be fair to say that we saw the difficulty of machine translation: all but one of the messages - a simple one placed by the SpinVox chief technology officer in a silent room - tripped through to the Tenzing console for manual interpretation. Pretty much in their entirety. So much for call center staff, sorry, agents, only seeing occasional word fragments.

Returning to the finances, there was a brief exchange at the end. A blogger asked who was the finance director?

"Roger Frye," came the reply from chief information officer Rob Wheatley.

That's funny, because Roger Frye, the illustrious founder of Talkland - which became the Vodafone Retail chain - is a SpinVox board director. There's no doubt he's a director. But he's certainly not a company officer. I pointed this out.

"We have an acting CFO," came back the reply. Paul somebody who's name we can't catch. It can't be Paul Martin, who was the last full-time chief financial officer and left last December. In May SpinVox announced they'd be appointing one David Christopher to fill the vacant CFO position full-time, but he hasn't started yet.

SpinVox don't half get through CFOs. The previous CFO Andrew Cherry left in July 2008.

What becomes of them? It's sharks with frickin' lasers, I think. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?