What Happened to Mezzi.com?
Mezzi.com was a designer of smart handbags, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The firm was established in 2006 by the man who became its CEO, Keir Reynolds (Source). On 27 September 2016, Mezzi announced that it had generated more than $285,000 in revenue in the previous 30 days. In the same statement, it also announced that its “investment in developing brand awareness continue[d] to show results with September (2016) representing Mezzi Smart Luxury’s best month ever in terms of wholesale and e-commerce order volumes” (Source). However, 24 months later, the company had stopped manufacturing the high-tech handbags and allegedly moved into the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. While the revenue tells the story of a small company that had found its niche, the firm’s wild strategy swings suggested otherwise. So, it may come as no surprise that visiting Mezzi.com today returns a “Page Not Found” error. We trace the company’s history to find out what happened.
The History of Mezzi.com
According to Reynolds, Mezzi.com’s inspiration came about when his friend was struggling to keep his company that sold cases and duffel bags going. It was Reynolds’s idea that even though the bags market could be turned into a good business, “it needed to be positioned quite differently.” Reynolds’ guidance resulted in the establishment of Mezzi’s “smart luxury” arm in November 2014 (Source).
Mezzi Acquires Capital Eyewear
On 2 October 2015, Reynolds produced an article for Stockwatch Daily, a website that delivers market news and data for investors, announcing that Mezzi had acquired Capital Eyewear for $125,000. Another $125,000 was to be paid if the company met revenue milestones within a period of 18 months after the agreement.
In the same article, Reynolds reports that the Capital Eyewear acquisition represented an approach that would “accelerate growth through acquisition of profitable luxury brands.” The founder and CEO of Capital Eyewear, Steven Kilzer, also joined the team at Mezzi following the acquisition (Source).
The Agreement with MEKENIX
On 11 April 2017, Mezzi announced that it had agreed with Mekenix Commerce Inc. With headquarters in Santa Monica, Mekenix’s core business involves assisting firms to increase e-commerce sales. According to the agreement, Mezzi made 7,650,000 common shares available to Mekenix together with USD$300,000, subject to the business achieving agreed milestones. This would result in Mezzi taking 51% ownership of Mekenix (Source).
What then Happened To Mezzi.com?
Mezzi Holdings announced a name change from Mezzi Holdings to Omni Commerce Corp on 28 March 2018 (Source). It is not clear whether this name change was a result of the company moving into different hands or not. There was no clarity as to how the Mezzi branded smart handbags would fit into the new company. However, it looks like this change may have signaled a shift in direction for the company.
Soon after announcing the name change, Mezzi.com closed its doors in 2018. The firm bade farewell to its loyal customers. It indicated that it looked forward to seeing what the future would bring (Source). By June 2018, GoDaddy, the American web hosting company and Internet domain registrar, was running the message that the website was temporarily available (Source).
An earlier report in 2017 had speculated that Mezzi was entering into the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. This report also indicates that Mezzi signed a letter of intent to sell the assets linked to its luxury business. It looks like the buyer of these assets was Atlas Cloud Enterprise. The agreement was to the effect that the holder of the Mezzi Trademark, 8918627 Canada Ltd, would receive $2,000,000 worth of Atlas Cloud Enterprise shares.
Reynolds punished for Insider Trading
On 5 July 2018, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced that Reynolds agreed to pay $15,000 to the BCSC as a settlement for his involvement in insider trading. The BCSC reports that Reynolds used undisclosed material information about a pending reverse takeover transaction (RTO) to fund and direct trades using the account of another individual involving “114,500 shares of the public company involved in the RTO on the TSX-V” (Source). A definition of what a reverse takeover transaction is can be found here.
Apart from the financial penalty, the Executive Director of the BCSC went on to order that Reynolds should step down from any position as an officer or director of an entity issuing securities to the public. The same order banned him from becoming an officer or director of such an entity for a period of three years from the time the order was issued. He was also not permitted to purchase “any securities or exchange contracts of an issuer he is in a special relationship with, with limited exceptions” (Source).
The Future of Bags and Technology
The disappearance of companies like Mezzi.com and their products could leave some asking whether there is a future for high-tech handbags. However, there are still many companies experimenting with “smart” handbags. We look at some of them below.
Louis Vuitton: TV in a Bag
When you look at the handbag that Louis Vuitton calls the “Canvas of the Future,” it is difficult to see the practical implications of the flexible screens technology that the bags feature. However, according to the French fashion house, this begins a process that could make your bag do some of the functions currently done by your smartphone.
Leoht: Saying No to Ugly Wearables
One thing that the people who designed the Leoht Handbag understand is that people often associate wearables with ugly designs. They say that this is something they want to change. Look at their sleek handbags, and it may be hard to guess that they carry lithium-ion batteries tucked at the bottom. If the hardware cannot be hidden, it is built into the handbag’s design (Source).
VanDerWaals: One Handbag for Every Outfit
Imagine a handbag that will match every outfit no matter what color it is, and you have just imagined the VanDerWaals’ color-changing bags. These bags have been referred to by one blogger as belonging to a class of products that could be called “wearable technology for people who aren’t all that interested in wearable technology” (Source).
Lorna & Bel: The Smart Handbag
“We want to bring fashion into the tech world and technology into the fashion world (Source).” These are the words of Bel Wood, a co-founder of an Australian technology startup, Lorna & Bel, which is launching smart handbags. Even though most of the company’s products are being distributed in Australia, Lorna Swinstead, reports that they have also started processing overseas orders (Source). Swinstead is the second owner of the company.
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