It’s official: Amp’d Mobile is the most expensive venture capital mistake, post-bubble. More than $360 million down the drain, with little to show for it but lawsuits, animosity and fancy handsets that will soon use some other service provider.
The Los Angeles-based company will shut down its service at 12:01am Tuesday, according to information posted on its website. Current customers will be allowed to port their phone numbers to a new service, but Amp’d will not help them do so automatically (no more customer service after close of biz tomorrow).
Amp’d also plans to sell off its assets via auction, and said that it “currently is in discussions with several parties.” It is unclear if one of those parties is Verizon — an Amp’d creditor that once discussed acquiring the company’s MVNO capabilities (with Amp’d converting into a pure content producer).
As of the time of its Chapter 11 filing last month, original Amp’d shareholders Columbia Capital, Highland Capital Partners and Redpoint Ventures each held less than 10% positions. Vivendi was at over 12%, while other shareholders included MTV Networks, Intel Capital, Rho Ventures, Tudor Investment Corp., Qualcomm, Quilvest and ex-CEO Peter Adderton.
The company raised over $360 million in VC funding, with the business plan requiring an additional $100 million or so. Part of that amount had been expected to come in late May, but the one-two punch of board bickering and a Verizon service termination notice prompted the Chapter 11 filing.