Loveland, Colo. – Multi-room-audio
and home-control supplier
is shutting down operations for the second time in a little more than a year.
Sales and marketing operations will
cease March 31, said Petro Shimonishi, vNet’s sales and marketing VP. Technical
support to dealers ends at the end of April.
The company will refocus on R&D
until it sorts out its future, which could include a revival of the line “in a
different format for a broader market,” she said. Company technology includes
IP-based multi-room-audio distribution and RF wireless lighting controls. The
brand’s high-end custom position was “too small to support the business,” Shimonishi
It’s not certain yet whether the
vNet brand will be resurrected. The company also has no plans “today,” Shimonishi
continued, to bring vNet’s products or technology to sister company Russound,
the multi-room-audio company that operates as a separate corporation. “Russound
is known for multi-room audio, not for home automation,” she said. Rebranding a
product line “is not the answer.”
vNet’s future will become clearer
sometime in the first half of 2011, when management will announce its next
The company will make its best
efforts to handle warranty claims after March 31 on products purchased on or
after its Oct. 2009 acquisition but can’t guarantee it, she said. Products
purchased after Jan. 1 will be sold as-is, she added.
The majority of vNet’s assets were
purchased in October 2009 by Russound owner and president Maureen Baldwin after
previous management effectively shut the company down, the company said. But
given the state of the economy and the difficulty of turning around a company
after an “abrupt closure,” Shimonishi said, the company decided to close down
sales and marketing operations to maximize its investment.
vNet’s technology and intellectual
property “still has a tremendous amount of potential,” she noted.
A majority of vNet’s employees will
be affected by the closure, and Shimonishi said she might focus more of her
marketing efforts on Russound. She has been performing marketing functions for both
vNet and Russound since Dec. 1.