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Ten Square, considered the forerunner in pump screen technology, has ceased operations, crippled by a sluggish economy and a downturn in venture capital.
The shutdown comes one week after CSNews Online reported that the high-tech company was teetering and scrambling to raise millions of dollars in order to remain solvent. "We had some significant traction in the petroleum industry, but we were unable to overcome certain factors," said Scott Slinker, founder, CEO and president of Ten Square.
The West Coast company drew attention last year after it secured handsome financing from oil giants London-based BP Plc. and San Francisco-based Chevron Corp., as well as from fuel dispenser giant Greensboro, N.C.-based Marconi Commerce Systems. After raising $35 million, the financial tide turned as venture capital dried, the nation's economy slowed and Marconi's parent company incurred serious financial problems.
Ten Square's interactive video monitors has drawn critical acclaim and had been installed at a number of retail locations. Ultimately, however, the company was unable to secure the kind of advertising revenue or market penetration to turn a profit.
In January, the company held a suave promotional event to woo investors. "Ten Square Meets Times Square" attracted major oil companies, equipment manufacturers and retailers, as well as members of the trade press. At the event, Slinker announced an ambitious national rollout to penetrate 2,800 petroleum stations and c-stores in 20 major markets, including Dallas, Atlanta and Miami. Those goals were never reached.