EstarOnline unfazed by Scape ruckus

E-commerce software developer eStarOnline is unconcerned about being caught up in the fallout from the dramatic closure of Australian website Scape.

E-commerce software developer eStarOnline is unconcerned about being caught up in the fallout from the dramatic closure of Australian website Scape.

Scape, co-owned by Ten Network and Village Roadshow, has been placed into voluntary administration. EStarOnline, which licensed its iSams (internet sales and management system) to Scape to become the back-end of its Scape Shop last year, is one of a number of creditors waiting to hear about payment.

But eStarOnline chief executive Matthew Darby says there is only a small amount outstanding on its deal, thought to be worth six figures, and indications are it will get full payment.

He says Scape’s demise could “actually be advantageous for us” because the receivers are seeking expressions of interest for the sale of the Scape Shop system as an asset.

eStarOnline would release the source code for iSams on the basis that it would only be used by the buyer for that one implementation, and would then receive funds out of the one-off sale, Darby says.

Scape’s closure, bought by its two parent companies, was blamed on its lack of ability to meet financial and performance targets and a weak global market. Network Ten and Village Roadshow, both listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, between them poured $A44 million into the youth portal venture, which had 111 employees on the day it was closed.

Not long before, Scape’s integrator, Razorfish, had closed its Australian operations.

Ten Network and Village Roadshow will each take a one-off multi-million dollar charge.

Darby says Australia is still a big market for eStarOnline, which is not far away from selling iSams as an “off-the-shelf” product on a disk.

iSams will be sold as a full-suite e-commerce engine that will be loaded onto a buyer’s server to create an e-tail site.

Darby says Christchurch-based eStarOnline is to build an international reseller network and become a devoted development shop for other e-commerce products.

“Despite the problems, companies are still moving ahead with their e-commerce plans,” he says. “It’s almost back to first-mover advantage. The pure plays have cashed out and the bricks and mortars are coming in and securing their plans."

iSams was first showcased while running music e-tailer CDStar, which eStarOnline also owned and has now sold to publishing and internet conglomerate IT Media.

IT Media has also employed iSams to run the back end of e-tailer Flying Pig.

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