Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wireless Ronin (RNIN), running out of money, asks public for more

After reviewing Wireless Ronin's quarterly statement yesterday, I noticed that they're down to a bit less than a year's worth of cash -- at least their current, totally ridiculous burn rate of something like $700K/month.

Consequently, I was not at all surprised to see this announcement pop up that they're now seeking an additional $6.7M by selling new shares at $2.90/apiece to an anonymous investor.

What I want to know is, honestly, who's going to invest in them at this point? Their model is broken, as is evidenced by the fact that they're getting further and further into the "consulting" by doing software development and content production projects. And believe me, there's nothing wrong with that at all. But that's a very different business than the digital signage game, one that's very hard to scale, and (amazingly) one that's even more crowded with competitors than the digital signage software space.

Still, I'm jaded to the point where I expect this round of funding will close, the firm will get a stay of execution, and will once again not have to make the difficult decisions, like:

1. Really slashing their headcount. RNIN ought to be able to get by (on those revenues, at least) with a headcount of 15-20 people, not 4-5x that number. It's not fashionable to talk about layoffs these days, I know. But as a publicly-traded entity RNIN is accountable to their shareholders first. Which is why they probably out to think about...

2. Going private. Yup, it's also not fashionable, but at this point I have to imagine that RNIN's ticker symbol is hurting more than helping when they go to pitch big deals. Admittedly, being public (and apparently having a totally genius financial adviser) gives them the ability to back for money over, and over, and over, and... well, you get the picture.

3. Giving their cash to me. There, I said it. I'm certain I could put it to good use :)


Anonymous said...

The only people I can see investing in them at this point would be a partnering company like NEC, Richardson, or another manufacturer who has greater insight as to the current RFQ's they may have collectively responded to which they are feeling good about.

What is odd though is their revenue number was pretty low for Q3 considering they installed a decent project like Excel Energy Center. Their other revenue outside of that project must not be that signifcant at this time. Makes me wonder if they are losing some of their foothold where they used to be strongest. (Casinos for example).

Anonymous said...

So many VP/Director/Managers, hold 60% positions