Ringside Networks was a very cool company - one of the best new open-source companies, as I wrote earlier this year. The company had a dream similar to Ning's - to make social networking-type applications an integral part of a wide array of websites and enterprises.
This past month, however, even as Ning neared 500,000 social networks (at least one of which is not used for porn! Go figure!!), Ringside went down for the count.
Why? How could a company flush with some of the best venture money in the business - Matrix Partners - go under even before it really had a chance to sell into a welcoming market? Bob Bickel, Ringside's co-founder, explains:
We were ready for our Series A round of funding, and in late May we received a number of term sheet offers from the very best VC firms. As we were about to finalize our funding, one of the biggest non-evil Internet companies asked if we would have interest in being acquired instead. After a lot of thought and debate, we decided that the larger company would enable us to get our technology to market sooner and with more impact.… Read more