The venture capital fund Firstime, under the management of Yonatan Ben Artzi, Nir Tarlovsky and Ilan Shiloh, is not satisfied with what is being done at Talkspace in which it owns 4.9% of the shares. The fund sent a letter this week to the temporary CEO of the company, in which it expresses concern about the conduct Talkspace and requests to know as soon as possible what the plans are regarding the appointment of a permanent CEO, to stabilize the share price, as well as what the strategic plan is going forward. The fund also requests to know if there were offers to purchase Talkspace. So far, it has not received an answer from the company.
Talkspacefounded by Oren and Roni Frank, provides virtual mental therapies, and became a public company in a merger with a SPAC at a value of 1.4 billion dollars in June 2021. Immediately after the merger, its stock began to fall, and last November its founders, the Frank couple, and Douglas Braunstein were removed from the SPAC company Appointed interim CEO.
However, so far no permanent CEO has been appointed and the decline in the share price continues (by 48% this year). Today, the value of Talkspace is only 161 million dollars (less than the value of the cash in the coffers at the end of the second quarter), so Firsttime’s holding is estimated at about 8 million dollars, compared to about 70 million dollars at the time of the merger.
In the letter, Firstim people write that the fund is “disturbed by the steep decline in the share price, the weak financial performance and the management’s failure to communicate its turnaround plan.” According to them, Firstim knows of other shareholders who think so.
“The company continues to lose about a million dollars a week”, they warn and warn that Talkspace may receive a delisting warning from Nasdaq, because its share has fallen below one dollar.
Firsttime expresses concern that almost a year has passed and permanent replacements have not yet been appointed for the managers who left (the founders and the operations manager), even though the company claims that it is looking for replacements. The fund also writes that it is disturbed by publications that were published, according to which Talkspace’s management repelled attempts by parties interested in its purchase.
According to the letter, Firstime still believes that Talkspace’s management is capable of turning the company around, but recently there have been concerns that this is not the case, and it requests to discuss with the board of directors and receive information from management regarding future plans and the appointment of a CEO. @