The Silicon Valley tech company Prysm has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, selling off the collaboration software software and handing over other assets to Kuwaiti backers.
The company bubbled up more than 10 years with display tiles that were similar in shape and use as Christie’s original MicroTiles, though using laser phospor technology instead of the light engines used by Christie.
The company, more recently, seemed to pivot somewhat from marketing video technology for control rooms and retail, to interactive walls used mainly for workplace collaboration.
Prysm filed for bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court, citing liabilities of $273.6 million and assets of $4.6 million USD.
ESW Capital LLC will buy Prysm’s software business for $15 million with a restructuring plan, with Prysm’s hardware divisions and remaining assets to be taken by lenders including the sovereign wealth fund and the Kuwait investment authority.
I don’t know their business more than the average industry observer, but it would seem Prysm needed to hit big a decade ago and get really laser phosphor display blocks really baked in as a mainstream option for video walls. Unfortunately for them, fine pitch direct view LED came along, as did super-big, super-crisp LCDs.
Some of the key is in content and super-saturating colors, but I also never though the Prysm screens looked all that good. They didn’t have the visual pop and saturation of MicroTiles, though I should note that was my biased perspective, having written a coffee table-style book for Christie about MicroTiles.
The version 2 of Christie’s MicroTiles came out in early 2019 and the new ones are not even the same technology, with the visual systems company packaging up its take on fine pitch LED as the new MicroTiles.
The pivot to collaboration software made some sense, but I THINK buyers needed to use Prysm software AND Prysm displays, and there are sooooo many collaboration options out there now.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.