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INTERNET | Internet Software & Services / Video
poptent.net

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Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Total Raised

$8.5M

About Poptent

Poptent is a global video production company which harnesses the collective skills of a social network of videographers to produce commercials and other video assets for brands and agencies. Providing end-to-end video services, through the use of crowdsourcing techniques, Poptent works with clients to develop high-quality commercials and other video content with speed and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. Poptent creators benefit through industry networking and the other resources available to them at Poptent, and by having work seen, reviewed and potentially purchased by leading brands and ad agencies.

Poptent Headquarter Location

555 East North Lane Suite 5050

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 19428,

United States

949-644-1151

Latest Poptent News

Months after merger, Poptent looks dead

May 19, 2015

controversy Advertisement The door was locked and the lights were off at Poptent's office on the second floor of 2401 Walnut Street. (Photo by Juliana Reyes) Money was tight for Andrew Blankenship this winter. That’s why Blankenship, 28, who lives with his wife and baby right outside of Stockton, Calif. was psyched to learn last February that his video had won the grand prize — $10,000 — for a contest run by Poptent , a video production network with offices in California and Philadelphia. Poptent, which became Vizy after a merger in January, acted as the middleman between brands and freelance filmmakers, running contests like the one Blankenship won (that contest was for Visit California, the state’s tourism and marketing arm) and contracting directly with videographers. But three months later, Blankenship still hasn’t gotten paid and his normal contacts at Vizy say their hands are tied. He said he’s owed $14,000 for the contest and other work he did for the company. The last time he got a check from them was February. He’s been making videos for the company since 2012 and said this was the first time he’s had to wait this long for payment. Blankenship isn’t the only one who’s been chasing a paycheck. At least four other filmmakers say they’re owed thousands of dollars, including Philly-based Michael James Murray ($10,000) and Buenos Aires-based Federico Fracchia ($14,000). Nick Henney, 35, of Indiana-based 323 Media , said his whole business was built on work from Poptent for the last two-and-a-half years. Poptent helped him gain access to clients he never could have found on his own, he said. “I owe them my career,” he said, “but they do owe me a bit of money.” (Henney declined to disclose how much. ) Those problems raise a bigger question: What’s become of Poptent? Earlier this year, the eight-year-old venture-backed startup  merged with U.K.-based  Userfarm to create a new company called Vizy. The merger came after a round of layoffs at Poptent, which Vizy CEO Nick Pahade said was “partly driven by redundancy due to the merger and the new offering, but also to be fiscally responsible to the business and our shareholders.” Advertisements - Continue reading below But now you might ask if the merger was a sign of things to come. Pahade, who was Poptent’s CEO at the time of the merger, left the day-to-day operations of the company in April, according to his LinkedIn . When we reached Pahade, he confirmed that he had left the company and directed us to the company’s current owners for any further questions. Userfarm is now trying to distance itself from Poptent, according to an email that Userfarm recently sent to their members . “Userfarm is back and we’re not with US based Vizy Inc, ex Poptent, any more. It wasn’t working, and we’re sorry for this,” the email reads. We’ve reached out to a number of Poptent employees but no one would speak on the record. Userfarm CEO Bruno Pellegrini did not respond to our request for comment as of press time. No one at Innogest Capital and TL Capital, the two venture capital firms backing Userfarm, have gotten back to us yet. Poptent is missing from this building directory. They were Suite #201. According to the information we could find, it looks like the company’s owners have shut down Vizy’s North American operations: Vizy’s office at 2401 Walnut Street, which received a mayoral welcome in early 2014, appears to be shuttered. When we visited yesterday, the door was locked and the office was dark. The company name was not listed on the building directory on the first floor. Chuck Block, who owns the building, did not respond to a request for comment. Poptent’s West Coast office was shut down in April and everyone was laid off “with little notice,” said a former staffer who asked not to be named. By the time the West Coast office was shut down, the staff had been winnowed to four, the staffer said. Vizy.com, which used to be functional, now redirects to Userfarm’s website. Chief Marketing Officer Kurt Lohse left the company in April, according to his LinkedIn . He declined to comment, citing a separation agreement. Poptent investor Mark Koulegeorge, who was on Vizy’s board, wrote in an email: “I am not in the loop. We merged with a European entity and no longer have material ownership. The European acquirers are in control.” As recently as May 8, Vizy was still posting from its Facebook , though one disgruntled filmmaker has commented on all of the company’s most recent posts. Its Twitter has been deactivated. Company owners have hired a Chief Reorganization Officer, a consultant named Nat Wasserstein who specializes in helping companies “during times of transition, change and financial distress,” another former staffer who asked to remain anonymous told us. That was confirmed by an email that Pellegrini sent to Blankenship, one of the filmmakers whom Poptent owes money. This past weekend, Pellegrini wrote to Blankenship: “to my knowledge Vizy Inc. (legacy Poptent) … is managed by Nat Wasserstein. You can contact and submit your claim and request at:  vizyinc@gmail.com   202-810-4547 As a simple european branch of Vizy (formerly known as Userfarm) we are not responsible for the job you took with Poptent months ago.” We reached out to Wasserstein, as well as the Vizy phone number and email that Pellegrini gave, and haven’t heard back yet. Blankenship reached out to that email and phone number, too, about the money he’s owed and said he didn’t hear back. “Whoever’s in charge of this,” he said, “they’re not taking care of their most valuable assets.” -30- Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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Poptent Patents

Poptent has filed 1 patent.

patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

5/28/2013

Videotelephony, Teleconferencing, Web conferencing, Collaboration, Groupware

Application

Application Date

5/28/2013

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Videotelephony, Teleconferencing, Web conferencing, Collaboration, Groupware

Status

Application

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