Vivotech to cease operations?

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Contactless reader and NFC software vendor Vivotech has told employees that it plans to cease operations.

The vendor is holding conference calls today with employees in branch offices to explain the move to discontinue operations-though it could continue to fulfil some contracts-as it seeks to reach deals to sell its reader and possibly the software businesses. The company has had as many as 90 employees, said a source.

Executive chairman Mick Mullagh said in a statement that would be posted on the company’s web site that “Vivotech’s business fundamentals are strong.” He said that over the past six months, the company has been trying to find a qualified buyer for its reader business – reports Dan Balaban.

“This sale has moved slower than anticipated,’ he said in the statement. ‘Vivotech has not ceased operations but is in the process of restructuring operations and has reduced its team to a smaller group with the goals of maintaining customer relationship and core contract work and to address our supplier relationships and commitments.”

The statement also said the company would be focusing on its software business and was in touch with suppliers and customers to explain the situation.

A source said the Silicon Valley-based vendor had cash-flow problems. If true, it means Vivotech has burned through the nearly $100 million in capital it has raised since its founding in 2001 from venture capital firms or the venture capital arms of such companies as US-based Citigroup, Singapore-based SingTel, and handset makers Nokia and Motorola.