Desciclopédia:Nagib Georges Mimassi, Orolix and Super11.net
Orolix was a Brazilian dial-up Internet service provider established by Nagib Georges Mimassi in 2004.
Nagib Georges Mimassi had previously operated with a very similar business model in 2000 under the brand "super11.net"
According to a turn of the millenium wire service report formerly available (em português) at http://webinsider.com.br/2000/09/12/super11net-de-acesso-gratuito-durou-nove-meses/ :
- Free Internet Service Provider Super11.net lasted nine months
- September 12, 2000, 00:00
- The free Internet service provider began in January with R$ 14 million in investments and in March, it sold shares to the Safra Group. But it was not able to carry on.
- Cesar Bianconi, Reuters
- The free internet service provider Super11.net has closed its doors. The company was launched in January of this year and offered connection services in over 100 cities across the country. On Monday, the company did not allow its employees who came to work to enter the building where it was operating in São Paulo.
- "The trigger occurred over the holiday, a content area employee at Super11.net who declined to be identified, told Reuters. According to him, Nagib Georges Mimassi, one of the company shareholders, called a meeting with the directors of the free internet service provider. At the meeting, Mimassi communicated to those present that they had one week to find a partner to take over the portal's debts in order to keep it on air.
- "They even made an offer to iG. There were five suitors and two were to decide last week," said the source.
- Debts, in this case, refer mainly to the links provided by telephony operators. Furthermore, according to what the source told Reuters, the company "was not able to bear the expenses of the three floors in a building of the highest standard in Itaim Bibi, in São Paulo, and was already "late with the rent payments." "Nobody received a salary in August," he added.
- Likewise, employees who were supposed to be on duty for coverage during the holiday were dismissed due to "no need" to work those days.
- "On Friday, it seems that the locks had been changed, based on claims that staff would steal the company assets, such as iMac computers," the source said, adding that there was indeed an attempt to negotiate an exchange of the provider's assets for unpaid wages, but the possibility of theft was never even imagined.
- On Monday, to the staff's surprise, all were prevented from going up to work. "My editor called me and said, 'It seems they're not letting staff go up to the company.' Only three people were allowed to go up at a time," explained the source. "A lady from the administration (of the building) handed out garbage bags to people (to pick up their personal belongings)," he added.
- For some time, the media has been reporting that Super11.net was undergoing financial problems and was seeking a second round of investments or a potential buyer. According to the source, despite the rumours, company executives tried to keep the team motivated, promising stock options to employees, one of the most commonly used methods of remuneration by dot.com companies.
- Employees now plan on going to court. "We'll probably file a class action suit. The Journalists' Syndicate has already been contacted," the source told Reuters.
- Super11.net was one of the pioneers of free internet access in Brazil, alongside providers such as iG, NetGratuita and the Terra Livre. The company had an initial round of investment of R$14 million and in March, it sold a share to the Safra Group.
- According to the source, the provider claimed to have about 900,000 users registered for their free internet and e-mail services.
- Interestingly, the provider's call centre continued to answer calls normally on Monday evening.
Local media in São Paulo report largely the same story. As a rough translation from http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/fsp/dinheiro/fi1209200015.htm :
- Without capital, Super11.Net closes its doors
- Company, one of the first providers of free access, delays salaries and dismisses about 130 employees
- (Image caption: Patrícia Santos / Super11.Net employees await service at the provider's building's gatehouse)
- MARCELO BILLI, Folha de São Paulo, Local Report
- Super11.Net, one of the first free Internet access providers in Brazil, closed its doors yesterday. The company, which was unable to obtain capital to continue business, has decided to cease activity.
- About 130 of the provider's employees arrived yesterday at work and were unable to enter the building where the company occupied three floors. At the reception, a letter stated that, in order to ensure the preservation of assets, entry of employees to remove personal belongings would be controlled by the company.
- The building's entrance only allowed groups of three employees to enter and people spent all morning in front of the building. Nagib Mimassi, one of the company's best-known partners, was not at Super11.Net headquarters yesterday morning.
Employees did not receive salaries in August. Yesterday, they discussed how best to demand payment of their wages.
- Financial difficulties
- Since the beginning of last month, rumours have begun circulating about financial difficulties facing the company. Folha reported this May that the Europaweb investment fund offered US $ 30 million for a 30% equity stake in the business.
- At the time, however, some investors felt that the proposal was not attractive and negotiations did not continue.
- The provider still seems to have had a second chance. Some in the financial market say that a group of investors tried to make viable the merger of Super11.Net and Gratis1, a provider of free access that has as partners Chase Capital Partners and Starmedia.
- In order to close the deal, Chase would have to make a capital injection into Gratis1, but negotiations were not successful.
- Executive Director Alejandro Cosentino confirms that there have been negotiations. "But they have not gone as far as rumors suggest," he says.
- Cosentino, who still did not know that Super11.Net had decided to terminate operations, denied that there was any intention to merge the companies. "We had only preliminary talks."
- Europaweb had made one last attempt to try to buy the company in recent weeks. However, the provider's debts to the telephone operators and the difficulty of renegotiating them ended up causing the fund to give up the deal.
Apparently some folks did get paid, eventually, after lengthy due process and a time-consuming appeal.
As an approximate translation from http://www2.uol.com.br/aprendiz/guiadeempregos/nova/noticias/ge150301.htm :
- Justice makes iG liable for liabilities of Super11.net
- Former employees of the now defunct Super11.net free access provider yesterday won at least two victories in Labour Court in São Paulo. The first was the decision - in the first instance - of the judge of the 64th Labour Court of São Paulo, Lilian Ortega Mazzeu, who considered iG the successor of Super11, placing it as a "joint debtor" of labour liabilities left by the company. Nagib Mimassi.
- The second point that should speed up the process of labour proceedings was Mimassi's confession that his company owes August salaries and severance pay. According to Ana Rita Brandi Lopes, a lawyer who represents 60 of the 120 employees, the Super11 executive, in addition to confessing the debt, also gave up supporting the thesis that the employees had been dismissed for just cause. "The confession of Mimassi will help in the progress of proceedings," said Ana Rita.
- The ruling, which placed iG as "jointly and severally liable" for Super11's labour debt, is already the third among the lawsuits filed by Ana Rita since January. "The decision must pass on to other actions." According to her, in practice it means creditors (the former employees) will be able to choose between Super11 and the iG to receive their due. According to the lawyer's calculations, the total debt is between R $ 600 thousand and R $ 700 thousand.
- iG's lawyers have already appealed the complaint yesterday. According to the free provider's press office, iG did not buy the Super11 subscriber base, but only signed a six-month contract to carry the traffic of customers who were left without access.
- Ana Rita believes that the decision in the second instance should come out in six or eight months. If Judge Lilian's decision is confirmed, the lawyer will demand payment of all labour liabilities of iG.
- Super11 has perhaps the most fleeting history of Internet-connected businesses in Brazil. Seen early last year, amid the fever of offering free access to the network, it succumbed to the absence of a source of revenue a few months later.
- Boldly, the project even hired developers from Silicon Valley to create their own navigation software. That didn't work out.
And, according to http://ambitojuridico.com.br/site/?n_link=visualiza_noticia&id_caderno=20&id_noticia=41108 (em português)
- "Hired in May of 2000, the employee was surprised by the closure of the company in September of the same year. "When employees arrived for work on the 11th of that month, they found only one sign on the door of the building, notifying them of the closure of the company," he said. About 120 employees were laid off without receiving their rights, including back pay. The fact was widely reported in the Brazilian press. The information is contained in the suit filed by the plaintiff in the 7th Labour Court of São Paulo, in 2001. The decision was in favour of the plaintiff."
"iG" attempted to have the case reopened; the original decision was upheld. The case was tried in December of 2006 and published in February of 2007 (RR-39775 / 2002-902-02-40.5)
While the "Orolix" company still exists, the dial-up ISP service looks to have been quietly withdrawn circa-2011.