Vidoop Is Dead, Employees Getting Computers In Lieu Of Wages

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Bad news for Portland-based Open-ID startup Vidoop (as well as Vidoop partners like AOL, MySpace and Flock): it’s apparently out of business. Earlier this month the company announced layoffs, but based on an email string that was forwarded to us, the company is now “officially out of business” and winding down.

From CEO Joel Norvell to Vidoop insiders, where he says that the company has no funds to pay wages or other liabilities, and that employees are being offered computers in lieu of wages:

Vidoopsters:

I am currently working with our counsel on next steps, but here is
what I know:

Vidoop LLC is officially out of business. Unfortunately, there are no
funds to pay the unpaid wages or other liabilities. I don’t yet know
if this means there will be a bankruptcy filing. However, we are in
the process of winding down and vacating the office.

Tomorrow and Friday we will be offering certain equipment such as
laptops and desktop computers to employees in lieu of a certain amount
of wages owed. As an example, a laptop might be worth $1000 in back
wages. You would only need to pay taxes on the actual book value of
the asset, which might be $250. So you would write a check for $0.153
on $250, or $38.25. The company’s liability to you would be reduced by
$1000, and you would have a laptop for $38.25.

The investors who walked out of the May 5 deal created a situation
that made an orderly shutdown impossible. However, several of us have
worked nonstop to preserve everyone’s stake in Vidoop, and efforts are
ongoing. We hope to provide details soon.

Thanks to everyone who is volunteering their time to help shut down
the office. There is simply no roadmap for a situation like this, and
I know it is frustrating. Your support during this difficult period
is very much appreciated.

Joel

It’s not clear how long the Vidoop service will remain active. The company promised “plenty of warning” of a shutdown of MyVidoop on May 14, but since then have been silent. There’s a ton of speculation in the email string (we aren’t posting most of it), but we’ll wait for an official company announcement. There’s also likely an interesting backstory around that “investors who walked out of the May 5 deal” statement.

We’ve put Vidoop in the deadpool.

UPDATE: Here’s a comprehensive story of Vidoop’s fall from former employee Chris Messina.

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