Hoffman out of Loop on mobile

Martin Hoffman, former CEO of Ninemsn and Fairfax executive, has left his current role as CEO of Loop Wireless after only eighteen months in the role.

A clarification was made to this story.
Read below for details.

Former Ninemsn chief executive Martin Hoffman has left his current role as CEO of mobile social networking firm Loop Mobile after only 18 months in the role.

Martin Hoffman
(Credit: Future Exploration Network)

Loop Mobile was founded in Perth in October 2004 to provide a social networking platform aimed at 3G mobile devices. Hoffman was appointed CEO in December 2006 prior to the company being floated on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The firm's non-executive chairman Greg McCann today said Hoffman would leave to "focus on his other media and technology investments". Loop Mobile has appointed its founder and current head of technology and products, Ian Rothwell, to succeed Hoffman. However, Hoffman will remain on the company's board.

The news comes as Loop seeks to raise approximately AU$1.5 million (before expenses) in a new rights issue. A number of investors have already committed to the stock.

"The new capital raised by the rights issue will be used by the company to continue the roll-out and marketing of its services in both Australia and overseas," the company said in its statement.

According to company documentation, Loop's primary business is a platform called MOKO, which provides instant chat, user-generated content, social networking tools and music content. Loop Mobile used to be a wholly owned subsidiary of AdultShop.com.

The product, which was previously known as Kink Kommunity and has been live since 2004, was not intended to be a competitor to major Web-based social networks, according to Loop. "It is designed to appeal to a different, and emerging demographic," the company said in documents filed with the ASX.

"MOKO focuses on instant connections where users can meet new friends, and not just their existing 'real-world' friends," the company said according to a document filed with the ASX. Loop has partnered with a number of telcos both in Australia and overseas to launch the service. For example, it plans to launch MOKO on Telstra's network in August and has a joint venture in India with Radical Softnet, a subsidiary of one of the country's largest mobile phone distributors.

In the six months to 31 December, Loop pulled in revenues up 29.8 per cent to AU$820,374, with net losses also accelerating, up 170.3 per cent to AU$1.69 million. The company's share price was flat at 5¢ at the time of publication.

Clarification: This story incorrectly stated Loop Mobile was a wholly owned subsidiary of Adultshop.com and that MOKO launched in beta in April. Loop has been a separate firm since listing on the ASX in June 2007 and MOKO was first launched as Kink Kommunity in 2004.