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Managed Print Services: Photizo Group Defaults on Loans, Gets Acquired?

Ed Crowley
Ed Crowley

Photizo Group, a market research firm and former Inc. 5000 honoree that aggressively promoted managed print services (MPS) since 2004, apparently fell on hard times.

The business appeared to be a rising star when it attracted $1.23 million in private equity and a $500,000 credit line in 2010 from Meritus Ventures. And in 2012 Photizo acquired Lyra Research for an undisclosed sum.

Fast forward to present day and Photizo has defaulted "on loans and interest payments of more than $4 million (€3.4 million) leaving former employees and the owners of Lyra Research high and dry," according to The Recycler.

Virtulytix Acquires Photizo Group

Still, Photizo is seeking to rise again under a new brand name -- and in a new market. Indeed, a new company called Virtulytix acquired Photizo's assets this month from Meritus Ventures. Photizo CEO Ed Crowley apparently is involved in the new Virtulytix business.

Virtulytix has vowed to focus on Internet of Things opportunities. According to the company's launch announcement:

"Virtulytix serves clients in the Semiconductor, Nuclear Energy, Imaging, and other industrial markets which are becoming IoT enabled. In addition to developing predictive analytics solutions (both cloud based and on premise), Virtulytix was one of the first firms to develop an ‘as a service’ offering for accurately predicting Industrial IoT enabled device needs using the IBM Watson Cognitive platform called Predictive Maintenance and Quality (PMQ) in partnership with SIS. In addition to Advanced Analytics, the firm provides market data, consulting, and other analytical intelligence services."

The Photizo Group asset buyout is briefly mentioned in the Virtultix launch release.

Photizo Finances: The Dust Settles?

Meanwhile, the financial fallout around Photizo apparently impacted former Lyra Research owners. According to the Recycler article:

  • Unsecured and junior secured creditors, including current and former Photizo employees, stood to lose more than $2 million (€1.7 million) and tried to get an injunction filed to prevent the repossession and sale.
  • The former owners of Lyra Research are still owed more than $1.3 million (€1.1 million)  and will forfeit monies due as a result of Meritus/Virtulytix transaction.
  • Crowley controls the new company and has agreed with Meritus to take on and secure the Meritus debt of $4 million (€3.4 million). This arrangement means that the other existing creditors will receive nothing from the liquidation, the report said.

ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed the Recycler report. We've reached out to Virtulytix and Crowley for comment about where the organization is heading next, and we'll update this article if we receive a comment to share.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.