Sonopia Follows Amp'd Into The Deadpool

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) have been having one hell of a time over the past year. The biggest burnout among them was Amp’d Mobile, which lost $360M before realizing its customers couldn’t pay their bills.

While Helio rode high for quite some time, that company has also lost Earthlink as an investor, seen CEO Sky Dayton depart, and accumulated a deficit of $560M.

Now Sonopia, an MVNO that enabled communities and organizations to set up their own branded mobile services (so-called “mini-MVNOs”), has also shut down after failing to gain traction.

According to a former business development consultant, Sonopia’s “approach was too ‘involving’ and too ambitious, offering targeted services and campaigns for segmented groups…which often lacked skills in running even a marketing program, let alone a mobile service.” Apparently the inflexibility of Verizon, its parent carrier, and the over-zealous optimism of founder Juha Christensen also led the company to ruin.

Sonopia is now in the TechCrunch DeadPool.