Any media professional who’s been on the hunt for work is probably familiar with Mediabistro (MBIS) , a specialized job posting and networking site that, as its name suggests, posits itself as a hub for the media industry. For some time the company has been able to hold their little fiefdom in a competitive job posting business ruled by Craigslist. But with the ongoing popularity of Craigslist and the growth of professional social networking site LinkedIn (LNKD) further encroaching on that niche, Mediabistro has struggled to maintain valuation or investor confidence.
Despite last-ditch efforts to move past the classfieds business and diversify in unusual ways, the company is losing value fast. And it doesn't look like the rapid downward movement will be stopped anytime soon.
From MediaBistro to BitcoinBistro and 3DBistro
Mediabistro has tried to diversify by latching onto hot tech trends, with varying degrees of success. In Septmeber 2013 the company first made a stab at exploiting the bitcoin trend, launching a BTC newsletter and hosting trade shows catering to the digital commodity’s investors and ideological proponents.
Around the same time, Mediabistro had also branched out into hosting trade shows for the burgeoning 3D printing business. Following this move, they undertook their riskiest diversification, and made the unusual decision to open up their own 3D printing investment fund.
In January Mediabistro's CEO Alan Meckler launched the 3D Printing and Technology ($TDPIX) mutual fund in a joint venture with John Meckler, which was aimed at taking advantage of the exponential growth experienced by that red-hot Technology subsector.
However, investors have been skittish concerning TDPIX, with analysts noting that Alan Meckler had never ran a mutual fund before. The fund is also focused on 3D printing, which at the time of launch was one of the most profitable investment sectors on the market. But it has been hammered by the springtime correction in tech growth plays. Since March, TDPIX has lost over 20 percent of its value.
Goodbye Nasdaq, Hello OTC
With the waning of their media job-listing business and the lack of success in their branchouts, Mediabistro’s stock has plummeted. They were first warned they faced delistment from the Nasdaq exchange back in February for failing to maintain at least $2.5 million in stockholder equity. At the time, investor equity was less than $200,000.
The company’s stock falling below the $1 a share threshold put further pressure on the company to right the ship. Facing those hurdles, the company has elected to move on and beginning in June will trade shares to the over-the-counter market.
Shares of Mediabistro are down 69.66 percent YTD, and at the end of May 27 trading were at just 90 cents a share. Barring a sudden turnaround for the 3D sector, bitcoin, or even the media job-listing biz, the company’s losses will continue to exacerbate.
Editors Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the TDPIX fund is owned by Mediabistro, when in fact the fund is owned by Alan Meckler and John Meckler, and is not directly tied to Mediabistro.
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