The Channel logo


By | Chris Mellor 22nd October 2010 10:39

InPhase holo-storage firm in deathmarch tug o' war

Investors tussle over fire-sale plans

The two venture capital owners of failed holographic storage developer InPhase are at war. One wants to auction all the company's remaining assets, while the other thinks it can do a phoenix and rise from the ashes.

Bart Stuck, CEO of Signal Lake

Stuck on you: Signal

Lake MD Bart Stuck

won't give up on InPhase

The Longmont TImes reports that two VC firms, Acadia Woods Partners and Signal Lake, own the business. Acadia has 50.5 per cent and Signal Lake 49.5 per cent of a $10m loan made to InPhase in March after it had shut down the month before. Bart Stuck, the managing director and co-founder of Signal Lake, said at the time he thought InPhase could be revived. Signal Lake has been a long-term investor in the company.

Acadia said it loaned its share of the cash to InPhase on the understanding that other investors would come on board. They haven't. Now it has hired an auctioneer to sell off every single one of InPhase's assets, having gained legal approval to do so in September. Signal Lake says it is contractually prevented from doing that and has gone to the Boulder County District Court to try and stop the auction.

InPhase went through a tortuous product development process for its 300GB Tapestry holographic drive, with many stops and starts, layoffs and repeated delivery delays, finally giving up the ghost when it couldn't get the drive and its advanced optics to operate reliably.

The company has just 14 contractor employees and hired a new CEO in October. It is experiencing as tortuous a close-down and death process as it did in its development phase. This is largely due to Signal Lake's managing director Bart Stuck's amazing and tenacious faith in it and its technology.

Signal Lake has invested a largish proportion of the $95m cash InPhase has consumed since January 2001 and successful completion of its product development is the only way it will get any return on that. ®

comment icon Read 2 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe