Anyone who watched the BlogNation implosion last year certainly doesn’t want to see a rerun of that particular debacle. But there are worrying signs coming from Romania-based blog network MyKinda that suggest the young startup is facing some of the same cash flow issues that plagued BlogNation.
Like BlogNation, MyKinda is a network of country-specific blogs. It’s somewhat different in that the blogs are written in local languages (BlogNation was all English), and it covers a wider variety of topics (BlogNation was tech news only, MyKinda covers business, politics, culture, lifestyle, science and tech/gadgets). MyKinda launched blogs in Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and the Ukraine.
The two networks have a common founder in Lee Wilkins, although Wilkins left BlogNation early on under allegedly questionable circumstances (I wrote about some of the issues here). As BlogNation’s debts rose and funding failed to happen, Wilkins started MyKinda to compete head on.
The biggest issue with Blognation was that writers went half a year or more without pay, while being told by the company that funding was imminent, or had already happened. The funding never happened, and the company folded in December. Writers were owed, by some estimates, as much as $200,000 in aggregate.
Now MyKinda is falling behind on payments to writers too, although on a much smaller scale. And to Wilkins credit, he seems to be dealing with the problems in a much more orderly fashion than BlogNation did. He’s shut all but the Romanian blogs, he says in a blog post. And he promises to pay the writers of the other blogs what they are owed – around €11,500. In an email to me, he writes:
As you may know we launched Russia and Bulgaria on Sept 16th ’07. Unfortunately, at the beginning of February, I decided to close down RU & BG to focus efforts on Romania, and because RU & BG were burning a lot of cash. €15-20k per month. Closing these two countries (along with Ukraine) was very tough, as it dented plans.
I close them because I am bootstrapping MyKinda alone by myself, and right now I cannot keep it all going. I am not saying we are heading to the deadpool. When closing RU & BG, I occurred debts of approx €6k for RU & €5k for BG. €500 for Ukraine. The past month we have been going through a little cost cutting here @ MK, as we are generating alot of uniques/visitors.
And we are nothing like Blognation, the debts occured for RU & BG were for January 2008 until closing them in February. I have never lied to my people, maybe a little lack of communication yes, but lying, no! I should’ve, in hindsight, communicated earlier that I couldn’t keep RU & BG going, but I had hopes of being in a position to finance it myself. Right now, I am in the process of making calls, to get my people their money asap, as i promised. I am not a thief, nor am i liar. These people delivered for me, I will deliver my promise to them.
More as this develops, but MyKinda is on DeadPool watch.