Odeo Bought And Sold Again

Jun 12th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Digital Music

Odeo LogoThe Amergence Group announced today that it acquiring SonicMountain, the parent company of podcasting community Odeo.com. Under the terms of the agreement, SonicMountain will become a wholly owned subsidiary of The Amergence Group.

According to the Amergence Group:

Now, SonicMountain will have the resources to revolutionize Odeo’s environment and add exciting new features to its platform. Collaborating with The Amergence Group will accelerate SonicMountain’s business model to become the first social networking/podcasting company offering a powerful suite of tools for an all-in-one, online and mobile media experience.

Rick Arturo, SonicMountain’s president, explains, “Our alliance with The Amergence Group provides us with the capital necessary to accelerate improvements on the Odeo site and take it in exciting new directions. I think the community will be pleased with the new user interface along with other innovative features we are planning. We truly want to be the next-generation platform for all digital media search and delivery in the ever-evolving Web 2.0 world.”

Check out the comments, though, for a different perspective on this deal.

No Responses to “Odeo Bought And Sold Again”

  1. ben simon says:

    This is really weird. The Amergence Group, previously SunnComm International, has acquired SonicMountain and will be providing capital and resources to enhance the business! It was only last month that SunnComm were evicted from their premises in Phoenix for non-payment of rent. They have been unable to pay the fine imposed by the court in that case:

    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/civil/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2007-005224

    Before Christmas 2004, they lost a contract dispute with their software developer BTEK (from Phoenix) and were fined over $600K. BTEK have filed several writs of garnishment to try and get the money owed from that decision, but to date have been unsuccessful.

    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/civil/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2002-011816

    When SunnComm were evicted last month and had to move to smaller premises in Scottsdale, they left all their technical staff go. Apart from president, Peter Jacobs, and a secretary, all that is really left is an IR consultant, Mario Iacoviello, who was previously sanctioned by the SEC on fraud charges:

    http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16277.htm

    This article on p2pnet, gives a brilliant exposee on SunnComm:

    http://p2pnet.net/story/4567

    Why on earth are SonicMountain getting into bed with them. In particular, why are SonicMountain saying things about The Amergence Group that are manifestly untrue. They do not have capital to offer or resources. They are regarded by most investors as simply a pump and dump stock scam.

  2. info says:

    Ben – do you think they’re using Odeo’s podcasting cred to try and give themselves some legitimacy?

  3. Guy from Wantagh says:

    Why do you assume SonicMountain is any better than SunnComm? Read the history of SiVault Systems. The president of Sonic Mountain (Richard Arturo) was the VP of Sales at SiVault. Sonic Mountain and SiVault appear to share the same New York City office space (500 Fifth Ave, suite 1650). SiVault seems to have spent much of its history buying up other companies and making press releases (much like SunnComm). The purpose (it seems to many) is simply to drive up the price of the their shares.

    For the full story on SunnComm, you should read http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/27/sunncomm_death_or_glorry/

    The best info I’ve found on SiVault is http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1101046/000114420406016612/0001144204-06-016612.txt
    One of my favorite lines in the Sivault SEC filing:

    We incurred a net loss of $23,900,354 during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005 and $3,406,660 during the prior fiscal year. At June 30, 2005, we had an accumulated deficit of $42,112,412. Our auditors have issued a qualification in their report on our financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2005, reflecting their concern about our ability to continue as a going concern for the current fiscal year. We expect to make significant expenditures in connection with the implementation of our new business strategy, including expenditures relating to sales and marketing activities, technology development and integration, potential acquisitions and administrative resources. As a result, we expect our losses to continue for the foreseeable future and we may never achieve profitability.

    Now, I don’t know that SonicMountain and SiVault share anything but one executive and an office. But I don’t know why everyone assumes that Sonic Mountain is a hero.

  4. info says:

    Guy from Wantagh

    Not sure where you got the idea that anybody thinks “SonicMountain is a hero”.

    For podcasters, the bigger picture may be that what was once the most promising podcasting community is now changing owners monthly.

  5. Guy from Wantagh says:

    Oh, I didn’t mean the folks on this thread said they were heroes. I guess I was just disappointed that all of the press and blog coverage I saw looked at Sonic Mountain in an unquestioning way. Nobody really bothered to look into who these guys are and what they are really bringing to the table. Also, many of the comments on various blogs seemed oh-so-optimistic about the future of Sonic Mountain and Odeo.

    One interview at http://newteevee.com/2007/05/10/sonicmountains-odeo-plans-include-video/ had the quotes about “their own patent-pending search” and “SonicMountain has big plans. The acquisition of Odeo gives them an instant community to test their new tools and services on”. Which just seemed out of touch.

    Accepting all their announced claims at face value drove me nuts. Especially, because at the time of the original announcement, Sonic Mountain’s mail address was a PO box at a UPS Store in Suburban Long Island (in Wantagh NY, just across the street from the Dunkin Donuts near the train station). Believe me, I’m the “Guy from Wantagh”. It is a great place to live, but you won’t easily find venture capital or Web 2.0 talent in a bedroom community that is the “Gateway to Jones Beach”. In Wantagh, Ajax is still the cleaning powder. See http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=34284898 it still says that their address is 3280 Sunrise Highway, Suite 74, Wantagh, NY 11793.

    See for yourself:

    3280 Sunrise Highway, Suite 74, Wantagh, NY 11793

  6. Ben Simon says:

    It looks like The Amergence Group takeover of Sonic Mountain is dead, since Sony-BMG mounted a lawsuit against The Amergence Group:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070711/0276538.html

    The Amergence Group was already in serious trouble prior to this lawsuit, having recently been evicted and owing huge debts with no revenue coming in (see posts above). After the eviction, they moved to smaller premises in Scottsdale. For the last week they haven’t been answering the phone, with just a message saying they were relocating (evicted again?). What’s more, Sonic Mountain have removed the PR on The Amergence Group planned deal (it was not yet finalized) from their website.

    Odeo.com users should be thanking their blessings that the website didn’t fall into the hands of The Amergence Group.

  7. info says:

    Thanks for the update – Odeo seems to be in limbo, though….

  8. GIDDY says:

    What about SonicMountain Mngmt.? Did they do any due-dilligence on Amergence?
    Doesn’t Wantagh have any legal and accounting professionals on staff at their UPS office?
    P and D scam!

  9. Ben Simon says:

    A further update on The Amergence Group.

    It appears they have now abandoned their new office in Scottsdale. No one has been able to contact them for over a month. They won’t even respond to e-mails from long standing investors, much to the frustration of those following the stock on message boards.

    Their stock price is at an all time low of just $0.20 and this is after a reverse split of 1000 to 1 just a few months ago. In pre-split terms the price is just $0.0002.

    They are all but dead, except for the formal burial.

  10. GIDDY says:

    I heard between 2.5 and 3.5 million shares of SonicMountain / Odeo stock is being sold by founders?
    Anyone able to confirm?

  11. GIDDY says:

    I heard between 2.5 and 3.5 million shares of SonicMountain / Odeo stock is being sold by founders?

    Anyone able to confirm?

  12. GIDDY says:

    Since 6/14/07, Sonicmountain/Odeo is being sued on fifteen counts in New York Nassau County Court: Nassau Civil Supreme Index Number: 010500/2007. Sonicmountain/Odeo has yet to appoint an attorney for their defense. https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/FCASSearch

  13. Guy from Wantagh says:

    Hmm. It looks like the Plaintiff is Jack Roken who was the CEO of SonicMountain when the Odeo aquisition occured.

    Court: Nassau Civil Supreme
    Index Number: 010500/2007
    Upstate RJI Number:
    Case Name: ROKEN, JACK vs. SONIC MOUNTAIN, INC.

    The only motion filed is a “Temporary Restraining Order”. Perhaps Roken was trying to prevent the Amergence Group takeover of SonicMOuntain. The restraining order was filed on 6/14/07, and Sony announced their lawsuit against Amergence group on 7/16/07 – http://www.theregister.com/2007/07/16/sony_bmg_sues_amergence/.

  14. Guy from Wantagh says:

    Only can find Roken’s twitter postings. I can’t find blog posts or interviews after the falling out with sonicmountain. Not sure what any of this means…

    http://twitter.com/JackR

    Being debriefed and loving it! 10:05 PM September 07, 2007 from web

    “Meeting wth the Authorities”….sounds like a movie title. 01:18 PM September 07, 2007 from web

    S topping E mergence C orruption on monday morning! 05:07 PM June 22, 2007 from web

  15. Guy from Wantagh says:

    Ha Ha. June 22 was Friday. Looks like Jack was sending his twitter friends a coded message.

    S topping E mergence C orruption on monday morning!

    I couldn’t figure out why JR would spell Amergence incorrectly, and why the funny spacing in his Twitter. Well, like a spy novel, it appears to me he was twittering a coded message: SEC. As in the way to stop the corruption of Amergence is to contact the Securities and Exchange Commision on Monday 6/25.

  16. GIDDY says:

    So who is the CEO now? That is the real question?

  17. Jilly J says:

    The CEO of Odeo/Sonic Mountain is his old boss Dick Moore at Sivault. He just bankrupted their former company Sivault to the tune of $47m in debt.

    OBTW, he has a few skeletons in his closet:

    http://tinyurl.com/322f7y

  18. so where is the new Odeo?

  19. Guy from Wantagh says:

    From: http://www.blogdigger.com/blog/2008/03/blogdigger-acquired-by-odeo.html

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008
    Blogdigger Acquired by Odeo
    I’m very happy to announce that Blogdigger has been acquired by Odeo. Over the last few months, I’ve been working with the folks at Odeo in incorporating Blogdigger’s aggregation and search technology into Odeo’s new beta site. Along with the acquisition, I’ve joined the new Odeo team as Vice President of Search and Engineering. Basically, I’m doing what I did here, only I don’t have to pay bills. 😉

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