Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
Just a couple of days ago, we brought you news that Zirtual was hitting the pause button on its assistant service as it scrambled to find a way to continue the service in the face of financial difficulties.
It seems that rescue plan presented itself at the eleventh hour – Startups.co has agreed to buy the company and relaunch the service next week, on August 17.
While it’s ostensibly good news for all involved, the company is reviewing the overall structure of the business to “determine the number of Zirtual workers [it] will be able to continue employing moving forward,” the company says.
According to a post from Zirtual’s founder and CEO Maren Kate, the company simply couldn’t sustain the amount of cash it took to keep running.
“And at the end of the day… ‘burn’ is what happened to Zirtual.
The reason we couldn’t give more notice was that up until the 11th hour, I did everything I could to raise more money and right the ship.
After failing to secure more funds, the law required us to terminate everyone when it became clear to us that we wouldn’t be able to make the next payroll.
This also meant that all of our clients immediately lost their support.
The outcome breaks my heart — hundreds of our people out of work and thousands of people losing a service they loved, and paid for, overnight.”
While the resulting outcome might not be ideal for all 400 or so Zirtual assistants if the workforce needs to be trimmed, Startup.co’s acquisition of all its assets is a better result for customers left in the lurch.
“Like the rest of this situation, these conversations have been all-consuming and happening at lightning speed. We weren’t able to share any updates with our community until now — and I regret not having answers for our community sooner. We’ve built up an enormous amount of trust over the past four years and it hurts to know that we compromised this in a few days,” Maren says.
Rebuilding that trust with customers who took out subscriptions to the service in the last few weeks and months only to be left high-and-dry soon after could take some time.
➤ Zirtual: What Happened and What’s Next [Medium]
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