FreeRide Over For More Than Half of Staff

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Punishing market conditions and a drop-off in online advertising were the reasons given yesterday when FreeRide.com confirmed rumors that it let go more than half of its staff.


Based on estimates given last month when FreeRide laid off a third of its work force, these layoffs bring the head count down to about 45.


Regardless, FreeRide, a provider of customized marketing solutions for clients and a rewards program for consumers, will remain in business.


"FreeRide has sufficient working capital to [survive] through next year," said Jeff Finkle, a managing partner at Odeon Capital Partners, a FreeRide investor. "We are exploring new products within the scope of online rewards and loyalty that reflect the current state of the online advertising market," he said.


FreeRide vice president and general counsel Mark Redman said, "We are pursuing all viable business opportunities." Contrary to rumors, "There are no plans to immediately liquidate the company. There is no current plan to bring the site down," he said.


Redman would not discuss any offers he has heard for FreeRide's assets.
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