June 14, 2007

Is nStein ‘n trouble?

nStein canceled out of the Text Analytics Summit, with some bizarre behavior. For example, to the last moment they insisted they were showing up. But then they didn’t, leaving me holding the bag on the Marketing Panel. (Fortunately, Olivier Jouve of SPSS pinch-hit expertly on very short notice.)

This kind of odd reclusiveness is usually a sign of an impending corporate transaction, or at least a desire for one (cf. ClearForest). But for the premier potential buyers there are several stronger and more attractive alternatives to mate with.

And as I pointed out to several folks today, being located in Montreal is unlikely to give nStein a leg up in being acquired by Cognos. That’s not how Cognos evaluates acquisitions.


4 Responses to “Is nStein ‘n trouble?”

  1. Seth Grimes on June 14th, 2007 1:49 pm

    Curt, nStein has bled red ink through their whole existence. They’re publicly traded so you can get their financial reports, which are available on-line. They’ve had uneven and modest revenue growth over the last few years with losses, from memory, typically about 40% of revenues, and have continued to need capital injections, $1.9 million earlier this year.

    They have new executive leadership and new direction as of a few months ago.

  2. Curt Monash on June 15th, 2007 8:09 am

    Thanks, Seth. http://www.nstein.com/investors/EIN_AR_2006_ENG.pdf is the most recent annual report. It seems that A. nStein raised a lot of money last year but spent it to pay down debt from some prior financing or acquisition(s) and B. nStein has much more services than license revenue, although I haven’t seen a clean breakout.

    I wonder whether Michel Lemay is even still there.

  3. Luc Filiatreault on June 19th, 2007 1:36 pm

    Hello Curt

    Nstein is definitely not in trouble these days. I am the new CEO and have
    been in place since April. We have released a few new contracts in just the
    last few weeks and are currently working on obtaining customers’s OK to release
    other quite interesting contracts.

    Our new NCM solution which combines technology from our most recent acquisition
    in France (Eurocortex) and NServe rour text mining solution is getting a lot
    of traction on the epublishing market.

    You are right about Michel Lemay no longer working here. I welcome your call
    to discuss any further information. I could also send you the presentation that
    I made at the AGM which clearly shows where Nstein is heading.


  4. Curt Monash on June 20th, 2007 11:29 am

    Hi Luc,

    Well, then you didn’t handle Michel’s departure well if you didn’t know of his commitments, or didn’t care about them. So be it. Olivier Jouve stepped in on 1/2 hour notice and did fine.

    Yes, I’d love to talk.


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