ANTs in my pants

You know, I really don't know what to make of these guys.  I mean, we all know they are rowboat adrift in the sea.  But, have you ever seen a more scatterbrained company in your life?  I  wrote about them on September 19, 2007 because I got a kick out of their "no news" press releases.  I have never seen more thinly veiled attempts to make themselves bigger than they are.  But, up until now, they were merely ants.  After all, they are a publicly traded company but their revenue numbers have been pathetic.  In 2005, they did almost a half million dollars in revenue.  That's right, I said a half million, or $467,000 to be exact.  In 2006, it got worse at $288,000 in revenue and last year they did $360,000. 

Yet, they continue to drone on about their "consortium" which, from the outside simply looks like a beta program.  Its no consortium.   They made a big deal out of a Cadbury Schweppes deal and I thought they were getting somewhere, but that amounted to a single, small app that was nothing. 

And, they continue to mention a major deal with IBM that COULD be worth millions over time.  You can read about it in every SEC filing.  But, it has never materialized.  And, the last time I checked, IBM's money and backing went to... US!

They announced a major Oracle partnership, but Oracle never acknowledges their existence.  I think they simply signed up for the partner program at oracle and paid the $1500.  End of story.  (for details on these releases, check out my previous post about ANTs)

But, they continue to get more private funding... and this quarter has seen some real action...finally.  Sybase is paying them $1.4 million to do whatever they want with the entire product line from ANTs.  Not a bad deal really for Sybase, though, had they waited another 12 months, I think they could have gotten for free in the fire sale.  This means that Sybase can do whatever they want with the product, including reselling it without paying another dime to ANTs.  Sounds desperate if you ask me.

Then, this month they announced that they were acquiring Inventa Technologies.  a professional services company.  And of course, in order to do that, they needed MORE financing.  Throwing good money after bad, if you ask me.  At some point, you just have to say enough already and recognize its time to move on.

But, it gets better.  Today ANTs announced that they have sold 1/2 of their product suite (along with a few bodies) to Four J's Software.  Why would Four J's want it?  Because it is the underlying technology of their Genero db product.

So, I haven't taken the time to figure out the total numbers yet, but it seems that ANTs has paid millions for Inventa and yet have basically sold everything to everyone else.  Yes, they still have the compatibility product.  But, so does Sybase.  And I don't suspect that anyone else is going to come knocking on their door...other than the shareholders... ;)