In what could amount to a solid case study in #BustedTech and the up/down nature of entrepreneurship, Videology Inc., a Baltimore based software ad-tech company that generated $143.2 million in revenue in fiscal 2017 has filed for bankruptcy.
The company has two principal business lines: (i) legacy media sales, a demand side (advertisers) platform that Videology would leverage to procure ad inventory to sell to advertising agencies (the supply side); and (ii) its long-tail "core use case," which included "long term planning, management, and execution of a company's entire portfolio of advertising campaigns or advertising inventory with complex, overlapping targets, objections...across multiple delivery channels." We're going to pretend we understand what that means; we think it has something to do with assisting ad agencies target ads effectively. What we do understand is that revenue generation for the more lucrative "core use case" segment involved a long sales pipeline that didn't support timely enough revenues to offset the liquidity draining legacy segment. Ruh roh.
But let's take a step back. This company was founded in February 2007. It raised its $15.1 million Series A round of funding in July 2008, securing Valhalla Partners II as a lead investor. It then secured its $16.4 million Series B round in Q4 2009. Comcast Ventures LP was the lead investor. Thereafter it nailed down its $30.4 million Series C round in May 2011 with New Enterprise Associates 12. Finally, in June of 2013, the company closed its $68.2 million Series D round with Catalyst Investors QP III as lead. Lots of funding. No down rounds. Everything seems to be on the right track.
Except it wasn't. The legacy segment was bleeding cash as early as 2012. The company had to tap the venture debt market in July 2017 to refi-out its bank line of credit. It obtained a $40-45 million 8.5% asset-backed credit facility (secured against virtually everything, including IP) with Fast Pay Partners LLC as agent and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC ("TCP"), as documentation agent and investment manager. It also obtained a second $20 million 10% asset-backed "UK" credit facility with FPP Sandbox LLC and TCP, which was secured by the same collateral. Both loans came with exit fees, charge 3% default interest and the larger facility has a 3% end-of-term premium attached to it.
At the same time the company took out the venture debt, it issued $17.1 million of convertible notes from board members and existing major investors (elevating them in the cap table) AND raised an additional $4.7 million in a subsequent rights offering to smaller legacy investors. What do you think will happen to that money? We'll come back to that.
In Q3 2017, the company also sought to find a strategic buyer. It didn't. It then started doing what every distressed company does: it stretched payables while it tried to formulate an out-of-court solution -- in the form of a restructuring or a refinancing. Certain vendors became skittish and withheld payments to the company. The resultant cash squeeze precipitated the prepetition lenders issuance of a notice of default. Thanks to a cash control agreement, they then seized control of the main operating accounts and paid down amounts owing with the company's cash and accounts receivable. And, yes, they applied the default interest rate. This is why they say what they say about possession. Savage. Consequently nothing is due under the larger facility; over $11.2 million remains due on the UK facility.
The company now has a potential buyer, Amobee Inc., and has filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a sale. The company hasn't yet filed papers indicating the sale price but The Wall Street Journal reports that the purchase price may be $45 million -- or 1/3 of '17 revenues. The WSJ also reports that the company has nailed down a $25 million DIP credit facility which will be used to pay down the UK facility and fund the cases. Presumably the sale price will pay off the DIP and the $20 million that remains will be left for unsecured creditor recoveries. Back of the envelope, that will be about a 25% recovery.
As for the equity holders? In the absence of bumping up by way of the convertible note, they'll be wiped out. That's venture capital for you. The venture debt providers, however, did well.
- Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Shannon)
Capital Structure: $11.2mm UK Loan Facility (FPP Sandbox LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC), $17.1 million convertible promissory note.
- Company Professionals:
- Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Irving Walker, Patrick Reilley)
- Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC
- Claims Agent: Omni Management Group (*click on company name above for free docket access)
- Other Parties in Interest:
- Prospective Buyer: Amobee Inc.
- Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP (Gregory Fox, Alessandra Simons) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP (Matthew Ward, Morgan Patterson)
- Secured Lenders: FastPay Partners LLC & FPP Sandbox LLC
- Legal: Buchalter (William Brody, Ariel Berrios) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (John Knight, Christopher De Lillo)
- DIP Lender: Draper Lending LLC
- Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Robert Hirsh, Jordana Renert) & (local) Bayard PA (Justin Alberto, Daniel Brogan)
- Prospective Buyer: Amobee Inc.