Seven Slashes Staff: UPDATED

Wireless email startup Seven Networks Inc. has restructured, cutting nearly one third of its staff in what seems to be a tacit admission that it has tried to do too much, too soon.

"Right now, we need to focus on our current customer accounts," company spokeswoman Meredith Vault told Unstrung, adding that this would be the case for the remainder of 2002.

"I'll tell ya," says Jack Gold, VP of the mobile and pervasive computing group at Meta Group Inc. "I think its just a sympton of a general malaise that's affecting the industry right now."

Seven sells enterprise and consumer-oriented wireless email systems to carriers. "That's a tough market to be in right now... People aren't buying those services," Gold says. "They're not the only ones affected -- Openwave's got a similar problem," he adds.

Seven's major customers are Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS) and Cingular Wireless in the U.S. and mmO2 plc in the U.K.

Vault was unable to give the exact number of staff laid off or talk about Seven's cash burn rate or how much money it has in the bank. However, she did say the company, which has so far gathered $64 million in venture capital, is still "well-funded."

"I'm sure they built a business model based on rapid growth," says Gold. "They were probably blowing though cash faster than they wanted to." — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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