Zango dies, CEO bankrupt


adotas_small_011.jpgADOTAS — After raising $150 million in debt and equity financing and integrating five mergers and acquisitions over the last decade, the online media shop that provided free downloads of games, music and other content in exchange for the ability to serve ads is no more.

Related story: CEO filed bankruptcy

According to some detailed blog posts by co-founder and  CTO Ken Smith, Zango got in trouble by screwing up its distribution, financing its acquisitions with too much debt, being unfairly charged with affiliate commission stealing and failing to deliver adequate value in exchange for the advertisements. There were also accusations of illegally installing software. (via peHUB)

On the positive side, according to Smith,  Zango made some great acquisitions, including LoudCash, Hotbar, and SmartShopper, and developed a unique and innovative business model. The company also had great employees and culture.  That will mollify the investors.

Blinkx, a video search company, bought 10 percent of Zango’s assets, banks foreclosed on Zango, with the company still owing $44 million.  The company never returned phone calls.  

Zango shut its shop in Tel Aviv January, so problems were on the horizon, 51 Zango employees were affected by that closure. In June, Zango laid off 75 workers, 20 of whom were based in Israel, blaming the grim economic climate on the firings. The final end might have seen 90 employees lose their jobs.

— Express your opinion, comment below.


  1. Oh will they ever learn, oh will they ever learn…

    After 13 plus years on line we are still amazed that investoors would rather put money into a bullshit filled plan rather than a seek out investments in a real business…oh well.

    I hope this is not an indication that we are once again in for a nuclear winter…

  2. Of course they went under! They and all their acquisitions had resource stealing software to install on the PC, seemed like (if it wasn’t) spyware, and the content, if not the same, could be paralleled elsewhere without those negatives. Most people are wary of having tracking applications installed on their computers. That’s why I would never sign up with them, even though I would have liked to view some of their content. Also, as a technician, I uninstall their software when people complain that their internet and computers are slow.

    Let all such companies be put on notice. The public will not be taken advantage of for your singular profit.

  3. They were involved in a bunch of messy lawsuits. Win, lose, or draw –lawsuits are a colossal drain. Especially as a defendant, lawsuits destroy a company’s image and online reputation. Plus, lawsuits are extremely expensive and mentally taxing on company executives.

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