This resulted in the main business becoming the Conga video-conferencing product. Then Cery Perle found all his emails had been lost due to some computer system error, and there was no backup. He asked his tech staff to develop an automated and very easy to use backup process to stop that ever happening again.
The result was Spare Backup, and it looked so promising that a subsidiary was set up to develop it. That looked so good that the subsidiary was merged back into Newport, which changed it's name to Spare Backup. The service was launched in Match 2005 and the Conga product was discontinued. All this is a long, long way from real-estate.
Five years later Spare Backup has accumulated debts of a hundred million dollars or so and needs somehow to step on the gas and accelerate its revenues big time. Step forward Stephen Meyer. Cery Perle has recognized that a different skill set is needed for Spare Backup to progress.
Enter Stephen Meyer
The company is traded as a penny stock and is, it appears, greatly under-capitalized. It has an incredible geographic skew in its sales which shows that the service has legs that could run back home in the USA. That's the key, isn't it? Succeeding in the USA is important, which means sales channel development and more cost there.
It can't cut costs to get a profit out of current revenues because that would kill the business. For Spare Backup the choices are expansion in revenues or death. For the expansion to be possible requires funding and that requires investors, or an acquiring company, to believe in the Spare Backup proposition, service, roadmap and distribution channel.
Who is Stephen Meyer and why is Spare Backup trying to get him on board? He is a managing partner at TechFund Capital, managing investments in portfolio companies and helping them in early stage development. He's been engaged as a consultant to Spare Backup to help it deal with the current debt/revenue imbalance and the board liked what it heard so much it decided Meyer was the man to run the company.
While consulting he is focused on capital formation, strategy, product development and go-to-market initiatives. He says he's looking forward to working with Cery Perle and the others at Spare Backup "to achieve break-even, then profitability and, ultimately success as the leader in the automated online backup sector and cloud services". Good luck Superman, and don't forget the Kryptonite. ®
Comment from Cery Perle
Here is a comment from Spare Backup CEO Cery Perle:-
I am bringing in a CEO (Stephen) to our business, because it is now expanding in a global way, Steve has a proven track record and at this point our business needs a "day to day" operator to help expand on all of its relationships. I am still going to be "day to day", but as Chairman (I handle business development and our product roadmap).
Our business model is very simple which I do not think you and I have actually sat down and talked about...(when do you have time?).
We are more a "white label" company with our core product being "Backup and Recover"...We have been in devolvement, for the last 4 years on additional products (mobile, sync, cloud services) spending a great deal of money in doing so, however this month alone (June) we are launching 3 partners, 2 of which are in the cloud and one in retail, on the shelf.
See we partner with large brand name companies that want our product line or some parts of it, which we then customize and develop for them(Sony-My memory center, Comet-FileSafe, Car Phone-My hub, etc.)...With this model we can truly compete as it is our partners brands that the companies you mention in this article have to compete with...This also makes our cost of acquisition a lot less than the companies you have mentioned.
Let me also talk about the revenues; we have proven that you can make money in the space as we were starting to show signs of this with regards to DSGi, before that relationship turned sour also note that we have been reducing all of our cost and there should be some news out within the coming weeks with regards to that....The numbers you are mentioning are including NON-CASH items, we have to book certain things in correct ways which also report non cash (it looks higher than it is)
The "on going" concern we have had since day one, it is a disclaimer that we have had for the 6 plus years I have been there. I think that will be removed this year, as the company starts to show profits (finally).
This paragraph here:
"Customer subscription payments are trickling in and data centre costs are gushing out. Spare Backup is burning cash much faster than it's coming in."
We are burning less cash than we have before and are launching with the number 1 company in the US, that sells mobile phones through the internet “Simplexity” in the coming weeks, plus we are launching a new channel with Sony, who has been a partner in the US too for a few years now….
We are also in some stages of negotiations with a few major name brand companies in the US now (go look at our SEC 8Ks), this is another reason why I am bringing Stephen into the company as we are growing.
RE "There are no equivalent customers in the USA where competitors like Carbonite, EMC's Mozy, Symantec and others have more traction, more capital, more brand recognition, and more technical and marketing resources."
Again the above statement is wrong as we have equivalent partners that we are launching, and more that are coming soon to be announced…With our model we are competing head on head with the above reference companies as it is our partners brand, which has more brand name recognition and technical resources as they are marketing to their customers, they know their customers so they know how to approach them for the sale at a lower cost of acquisition…"