A phoenix is a mythical bird that, upon dying, resurrects itself from the ashes of its former self.

Rippln went down in flames last year, following the revelation that the company had failed to secure new investment and was being sued for trademark infringement by Ripple Labs. More thermo-nuclear apocalypse than phoenix, nonetheless and despite months of non-communication and evacuation orders from top affiliates, Rippln now appears to want to resurrect itself.

Well, at least if a recent affiliate email is to be believed.

The email, which places the blame on the tired “we’re doing something ‘that has never been seen and something that has never been done before‘” excuse the company loves to trot out, was sent out to Rippln’s affiliates sometime in the last twenty-four hours. Signed off on by “Rippln HQ” (Brian Underwood?), the email proclaims

Rippln is still in business. We continue to pour a lot of investment money into the company, and our employees are still coming to work everyday.

Rippn (sic) continues to put a lot of resources into development, support & streamlining this unique business model. We have NOT shut our doors at all.

This statement is in direct contrast to what Rippln co-founder Jonathan Budd sent out to his downline last month, claiming that

Unfortunately, Rippln lost it’s financing capability to keep going in the Fall of last year, and without proper financing there was no way to continue to build out the technology to get it to a mainstream worthy product.

Whether or not Rippln has secured new investment and whether or not Budd is still involved with Rippln is not clarified in the email.

Going on to address the lawsuit, which was recently settled, the email states

Over the last 6 months, we have been in a lawsuit with Ripple Labs, as many of you know. The lawsuit was for a trademark and the use of the name Rippln & Ripple.

We have been in Stealth Mode since December when papers were served and the process of working with Ripple Labs to settle this began.

Our attorneys advised us to limit all communication until we could settle the suit with Ripple Labs, Inc. We have finally come to an agreement with Ripple Labs and will be updating the Rippln Community with the details in the upcoming weeks.

I noted that a Standby Order of Dismissal had recently been filed in BehindMLM’s coverage of the infringement suit, indicating that a settlement had been reached. Whether any money has changed hands is unclear but, as part of the settlement, “Rippln” and its branding would appear to be dead (and not coming back).

What followed next in the email immediately set off my alarm bells:

Rippln is currently working on a Re-Branding Strategy. We have been in many discussions over the last 4 months with potential investors, partners and companies that wanted to acquire Rippln for what we have developed.

Through this business development phase of the company, we have made a decision that we are going in a direction of a Re-Branding strategy & Business model revision. This will be in alignment with what created the 1 million-person community in the first 100 days.

Rippln is currently streamlining the business model to create a more simple, efficient and powerful way to execute the original Vision.

We will be updating all 1.5 million Players & Fans in the next several weeks on the forward direction for the Vision & Mission that we all got behind so passionately.

Uh, the same “original vision” that was an out and out recruitment driven pyramid scheme? What on Earth are these guys thinking?!

There’s a reason that initial model was scrapped, and it’s because all you had to do was pay your fees, recruit others who paid their fees and get paid. Sorry to break it to the 1 million people who might feel passionate about the model, but legitimacy wise it’s not going to fly.

As accustomed to the process as all Rippln affiliates should be by now, they are told to wait because ‘there will be some powerful releases over
the next 60 days‘.

We too will be waiting to see what comes next, so uh… stay tuned for the next chapter in this trainwreck I guess.


Footnote: My thanks to BehindMLM reader “Angel” for providing readers with the email communication in its entirety.