Done deal. From today's 8K filing:
"The Merger was consummated on November 4, 2016, as a result of which theMaven became a wholly owned subsidiary of Integrated (the “Closing”)." Other items:
Although theMaven was founded in 2016, its founding team worked on a variety of digital media platforms, with the common thread of achieving economies of scale by assembling a network of publishers, covering particular niche media interests, on a unified technology and business platform. One of the founders and the Chief Executive Officer of theMaven, Mr. James C. Heckman, created the first version of this model in 1991, leveraging early digital technology for NFL teams for “NFL Exclusive,” and later founded Rivals.com, which is still operated today by Yahoo!. theMaven’s founders have worked together since 1999, building many different socially focused, single platform media models, including Scout.com, Rivals.com, Rivals.net (Europe), Zazzle, and 5to1.com.
Based on their prior experience, the founders established theMaven as an entirely new enterprise to build and operate an exclusive network of professionally managed media channels and interest groups, each operated by a hand-selected group of experts, reporters, group evangelists and social leaders as “Channel Partners.” These Channel Partners will be able to leverage theMaven’s proprietary, socially-driven, mobile-enabled, video-focused technology platform to engage niche audiences within a single network (“theMaven Platform”).
We believe that our media model will appeal to the users and subscribers of theMaven Platform in a way similar to how the model has previously appealed to sports fans in its founders’ previous ventures. theMaven Platform intends to appeal to professional publishers who currently struggle to monetize on their existing platforms, or are operating with less-than-world-class features in one or more areas (mobile, video, community, etc.). The consumer-facing product of theMaven Platform will be made available on the web and as iOS (Apple) and Android mobile applications.
Once launched, we believe that there will be two primary revenue sources, one of which will be online advertising/sponsorships and one of which will be paid memberships (subscriptions). We expect that advertising/sponsorships will be sold primarily by theMaven and/or major media partner(s) to companies to promote their brands, products and services, amplify their visibility and to target an audience based on the professionally managed media channels and interest groups on theMaven Platform. At this stage of the company’s development, operations primarily consist of software development, building a “target” list of selective, invite-only “Channel Partners,” and reaching out to those “Channel Partners” for discussion. The management team has extensive experience in the past building partner networks, but it will take time and further development of the technology platform to begin securing these partners.
Currently, we do not have any customers as we are still in the development stage of our business and establishing a customer base.
Technology and Intellectual Property
We plan to incorporate state-of-the-art mobile, video, communications, social, notifications and other technology into its theMaven Platform, including modern DevOps processes with continuous integration/continuous deployment and an entirely cloud-based back-end. The software engineering team is experienced at delivering service at extreme scale, drawing upon years of experience at GoogleTM, Yahoo!TM, and Microsoft TM among other companies. We plan to develop theMaven Platform software by combining proprietary code with components from the open-source community, plus select commercial services. To the extent it is able and given the limited financial resources at its disposal, management is investing in core technical competencies to be able to do more product development.
We believe that innovation is one of the keys to its competitiveness and will be necessary for future sustained growth. Currently, theMaven relies on the confidentiality of its operations, proprietary know-how and business secrets. All theMaven employees have entered into confidentiality agreements and it considers its employees’ work to be proprietary and owned by theMaven. There can be no assurance that theMaven will be able to enforce its rights if they are improperly taken by theMaven’s employees or adopted by its competitors without the approval of theMaven.
In the future, when necessary, we will take additional steps to protect its intellectual property interests under the laws of the United States and the jurisdictions in which it intends to operate. In the future, we plan to protect theMaven intellectual property in appropriate market segments. As the business develops, we plan to develop specific trademarks for our products and seek registration of those marks with government authorities for their protection. We also plan to seek opportunities to obtain patent protections. We do not currently hold any registered trademarks or patents.
Once we are providing services to our customer base, we do not expect to experience any seasonality in our operations, other than typical media company ad/sponsorship sales seasonality, which is strong in the fourth quarter and slower in the first quarter.
Currently theMaven believes that there are dozens of competitors delivering niche media content on the web and on mobile devices. All those competitors use mobile alerts, invest heavily in video and leverage social media. We believe that theMaven has developed distribution, production and technology tactics that have proven in the past to be highly engaging and effective for its particular model, which organizes channels into interest groups, led by its expert partners – the “Channel Partners.”
The web provides unlimited access to the market by niche or general media companies, so there are a large number and variety of direct competitors of theMaven competing for audience and ad dollars. The general business of online media, combined with some level or method of leveraging community attracts many potential entrants, and in the future there may be strong competitors that will compete with theMaven in general or in selected markets. These and other companies may be better financed and be able to develop their markets more quickly and penetrate those market more effectively. Below if a list of possible competitors/substitutes and categories:
· Vice – niche content, leveraging social, mobile and video
· Buzzfeed – socially enabled content
· Business Insider – expert, niche content, leveraging social, mobile and video
· WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook – open platform to all, also includes experts and professionals
· Medium - publishing
· Reddit – community, UBC focused, including delivery of niche content
· Affiliate “networks” such as Liberty Alliance – publishing, advertising
· Fortune, CNN, Yahoo!, Google, et al - all major media companies are investing in deep content for users and leveraging social media in their own way, to reach and engage users more effectively
We anticipate that theMaven will compete on the basis of its technology, ease of use, value delivered to both consumers and “Channel Partners,” and platform evolution through a continuing development program. We believe that theMaven methods, technology and experience will enable it to compete for a material amount of market share of media dollars and subscription revenue. We also believe theMaven will rapidly establish a reputation for its business, distribution and technology methods within selected initial markets, which can be enhanced over time as theMaven gains customer awareness and channel partner success. Concurrent with the growth of its customer base, we believe theMaven will develop brand awareness, which translates to sponsorship support, and will obtain data from its users that will allow theMaven to expand our its content and advertising offerings.
The competitive position of theMaven may be seriously damaged if it cannot maintain and obtain patent protection for important differentiating aspects of its products or otherwise protect its intellectual property rights in its technology. theMaven relies on a combination of contracts, patent and trade secret laws to establish and protect its proprietary rights in its technology. However, it may not be able to prevent misappropriation of its intellectual property, its competitors may be able to independently develop similar technology and the agreements it enter into to protect its proprietary rights may not be enforceable.
Research and Development
We believe that innovation is one of the keys to our competitiveness, and innovation will be necessary for future sustained growth. To the extent it is able, given the limited financial resources at our disposal, the company is investing in core technical competencies to be able to do more product development. Furthermore, we will file to protect our intellectual property in appropriate market segments.
In the period since its inception on July 22, 2016 through September 30, 2016, theMaven has spent $307,102 on research and development, and it expects that in future periods it will continue to use a substantial amount of its financial resources for research and development of its platform and products.
At the time of this report, the company had sixteen full-time employees, of which four were in senior executive positions, eight were in software development/test/operations, two were in business/network development and one was in user experience/design. None of the employees are covered by any collective bargaining agreement. In the future, theMaven expects to expand its management employees for financial compliance, and add operational employees as the channel partner network expands. Its future success will depend in part on its ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly qualified technical and management personnel.
Our operations, once commenced in the public sphere will be subject to a number of U.S. federal and state laws and regulations that involve privacy, rights of publicity, data protection, content regulation, intellectual property, or other subjects. Many of these laws and regulations are still evolving and being tested in courts and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations often are uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate.
A number of government authorities, both in the United States and abroad, and private parties are increasing their focus on privacy issues and the use of personal information. Most states have enacted some form of data privacy legislation, including data breach notification laws, and laws penalizing the misuse of personal information in violation of published privacy policies. Certain states have also enacted legislation requiring certain encryption technologies for the storage and transmission of personally identifiable information, including credit card information, and more states are considering laws for or have enacted laws about information security regulations and may require the adoption of written information security policies that are consistent with state laws if businesses have personal information of residents of their states. Data privacy and information security legislation also is being considered at the federal level, among other statutes and regulations concerning privacy of individuals and use of internet and market information. In the United States the FTC and attorneys general in several states have oversight of business operations concerning the use of personal information and breaches of the privacy laws under existing consumer protection laws. In particular, an attorney general or the FTC may examine privacy policies to ensure that a company fully complies with representations in the policies regarding the manner in which the information provided by consumers and other visitors to a website is used and disclosed by the company and the failure to do so could give rise to a complaint under state or federal unfair competition or consumer protection laws. We will have to review our privacy policies and our overall operations on a regular basis to assure compliance with applicable U.S. federal and state laws, and to the extent applicable, any foreign laws. Our business could be adversely affected if new regulations or decisions regarding the storage, transmission, use and/or disclosure of personal information are implemented in such ways that impose new or additional technology requirements on us, limit our ability to collect, transmit, store and use the information, or if government authorities or private parties challenge our privacy practices that result in restrictions on us, or we experience a significant data or information breach which would require public disclosure under existing notification laws and for which we may be liable for damages or penalties.
The United States Congress enacted the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, or CAN-SPAM, regulating “commercial electronic mail messages” (i.e., e-mail), the primary purpose of which is to promote a product or service. The FTC has promulgated various regulations applying CAN-SPAM and has enforcement authority for violations of CAN-SPAM. Any entity that sends commercial e-mail messages for itself and clients, and those who re-transmit such messages, must adhere to the CAN-SPAM requirements. Violations of its provisions may result in civil money penalties and criminal liability. Compliance with these provisions may limit our ability to send certain types of e-mails on our own behalf and on behalf of our advertising clients. While we intend to operate our businesses in a manner that complies with the CAN-SPAM provisions, we may not be successful in so operating. If it turns out we have violated the provisions of CAN-SPAM we may face enforcement actions by the FTC or FCC or face civil penalties, either of which could adversely affect our business.
In addition to the federal CAN-SPAM regulations, many states have comparable legislation. There have been a number of cases brought as class actions based on the federal and state statutes. At the state level the courts have tended to decide in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded substantial damages. An award of damages, at either the federal or state level could have a detrimental impact on our financial results.
Social networking websites are under increased scrutiny. Legislation has been introduced on the state and federal level that could regulate social networking websites. Some rules call for more stringent age-verification techniques, attempt to mandate data retention or data destruction by Internet providers, and impose civil and/or criminal penalties on owners or operators of social networking websites.
The FTC regularly considers issues relating to online behavioral advertising and has issued reports containing a new set of “guidelines” for industry self-regulation. The FTC’s reports and issue consideration may result in future regulation at the federal and state levels of the collection and use of online consumer data, which could potentially place restrictions on our ability to utilize our database and other marketing data on our own behalf and on behalf of our advertising clients, which may adversely affect our business.
Legislation concerning the above described online activities has either been enacted or is in various stages of development and implementation in other countries around the world and could affect our ability to make our websites available in those countries as future legislation is made effective. It is possible that state and foreign governments might also attempt to regulate our transmissions of content on our website or prosecute us for violations of their laws.
Governments of states or foreign countries might attempt to regulate our transmissions or levy sales or other taxes relating to our activities even though we do not have a physical presence and/or operate in those jurisdictions. As our platforms, products and advertisement activities are available over the Internet anywhere in the world, multiple jurisdictions may claim that we are required to qualify to do business as a foreign corporation in each of those jurisdictions and pay various taxes in those jurisdictions.
theMaven currently subleases approximately 1,500 square feet for its executive offices and operational facilities on a month-to-month basis at 5048 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Management, software development and operations activities are conducted at 200 1st Ave. West, Suite 230, Seattle, WA 98119. The annual lease payments aggregate to approximately $54,000. The company believes that the rates it is paying under its property lease are competitive in the Seattle real estate market, and it would be able to find comparable lease properties in the event it changed locations. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/894871/000114420416131889/v452130_8k.htm