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Amvona is a blog founded by Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson that provides opinion and analysis on issues of Faith, Investing and Economics. The word Amvona is derived from the ancient Greek word for “Pulpit” (άμβων).
Lemelson is a Greek Orthodox priest, activist investor, and creator of The Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson Podcast, which reveals the darkest corners of government, corporate America, and culture with commentary from an Orthodox Christian perspective.
He is the chief investment officer of Lemelson Capital Management, LLC, the sole sponsor and general partner of The Amvona Fund, LP, which several times has been named the world’s top-performing hedge fund according to financial media outlets WSJ and Barron’s. In December 2023, Hedge Fund Research ranked The Spruce Peak Fund, LP, among the top-performing equity funds.
His investment research and analysis have been cited in The WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC, USA Today, New York Post, Fox Business Network, Fortune, Forbes, Barron’s, Business Insider, International Business Times, Reuters, MarketWatch, and and credited with influencing share prices in publicly traded companies.
His ongoing battle with U.S. regulators over Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND) and his years-long unlawful prosecution, stemming from fraudulent SEC allegations, continues to make headlines. During the 2021 prosecution, the lead SEC prosecutor called Fr. Emmanuel “a top hedge fund manager with top results in the world” and stated, “Apparently, those results are based on lies… that’s the key part of this scheme.” A Federal jury rejected the SEC’s fraudulent claims, and Fr. Emmanuel’s extraordinary performance has not been challenged since.
Barron’s has called Lemelson an “outspoken” short seller who “wouldn’t settle,” while Benzinga compared his firm to Smith Barney. Lemelson’s role as a mentor and advisor to global star Mark Wahlberg was featured in the hit HBOMax docuseries Wahl Street, with the executive producer later comparing Lemelson to John Forbes Nash Jr.
His position on the role of the Orthodox Church has been cited in The Washington Post, CBS News, Fox News, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Herald, among others. Lemelson has also been cited in and written for The National Interest.
Prior to his ordination in 2011, Fr. Emmanuel had 17 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur, including authoring multiple patents in design, business processes, and software architecture. As a graduate student, he founded, amongst other businesses, the internet site Amvona which achieved ~120% CAGR between 1999 and 2006. In 2005 Amvona ranked among the ten most-visited photography-related internet sites.
He is the founder and president of The Lantern Foundation, a 501 (c)3 private foundation that provides financial support to Christian organizations as well as the founder of the Stowe conference for charity.
Fr. Emmanuel graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with an M.Div, and has served parishes in New England and Switzerland.

Watch: Fr. Emmanuel on Fox Business News Varney & Co. here

Watch: the latest video at

Watch Fr. Emmanuel on Fox News a Spirited Debate here

Watch: the latest video at

Master Investor Magazine – Fund Manager in Focus by amvona on Scribd

Readership and Influence Today – Security Analysis


Gregory Lemelson of Lemelson Capital has also been releasing short thesis research reports on Ligand since 2014, and his short positions have reportedly earned millions of dollars in profits for him and the hedge fund he operates.”

The Investment Strategist, February 28, 2019

Lemelson Capital focuses on value and special situations, but it is one of the few that builds ethics into its decisions”

Paul Springer, May 18, 2018, The Deal

In a world where replicating what others do while taking on some extra leverage seems to be the main game, there are still a few that detach from society in general to seek out value. Lemelson proves that it doesn’t matter what you do but how you do it. Be it e-commerce, Finance, investment, or theology, a successful individual is one that is able to at some point detach from the herd and start thinking independently”

Filipe R. Costa, June 2015, Master Investor Magazine

In the old days, when Smith Barney spoke, people would listen. In today’s market, when Lemelson speaks, investors may want to listen up as well.”

Joel Elconin, September 11, 2014,

Kulicke & Soffa Industries jumped nearly 7% Tuesday after Lemelson Capital Management announced it was building a stake in the semiconductor and LED equipment maker, saying the company is “absurdly” undervalued… Lemelson made news earlier this month when the investment firm said pro wrestling firm World Wrestling Entertainment was way overvalued, sending the shares down more than 35%” 

Gary Strauss, April, 22, 2014, USA Today

Amvona Short Call Sends WWE Tumbling”

April 7, 2014, ValueWalk

The following are just a few more of the thousands of comments that can be found online: 


One of the finest articles I have ever read on the internet...”—

This is a truly superb article...”—

Strictly awesome analysis…”—

Great call and analysis… some of the best I have ever seen.”— Christopher D LicataRayfield and Licata, CPAs

Fantastic analysis. I wish analysts are half as logical as you…”—

Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson, an extremely talented hedge fund manager…”— Steven Borovay, CFP, Contributor,

Wow, amazing breakdown of this company and its stock. Very informative and highly detailed…”— W. Walker Jr., Contributor,

I have never commented on an article in my life but I felt I must take time out of my day to say thank you Mr. Lemelson for the well written, excellent analysis of the Skechers Company… Your article added a great deal of clarity to the situation and I think your assessment is fair and closer to the truth than any that I have seen in a while. Keep up the good work sir, I was beginning to believe that there were no more sane, rational analyst/ commentators out there and you have restored my perspective. Good job and a good day to you….”—

Spectacular analysis and conviction and you have proven yourself to be an incredible analyzer of companies. You really put the time in and you share every nook and cranny of your analysis. Wall street analysts should be embarrassed by their research compared to yours. Plus, you are committing your own capital to your ideas. Three people I now follow obsessively: Doug Kass, Mohammed El Erian and Gregory Lemelson. Well well done. ….”—

In my mind an extraordinarily well written and thought provoking article, not to mention a refeshing change from the gridlock of “Apple Valuation” articles out there. I really enjoyed reading it and in fact, it is one of the few on Apple of late that I read from beginning to end. I thank the author sincerely for his unique contribution.”—

Imagine my surprise when I open up today’s Barron’s to see the Amvona Fund tops for July! Congratulations. I hope this leads to a flood of money and continued success. You have earned it.” — Christopher D LicataRayfield and Licata, CPAs

SA author Amvona ranks first among hedge funds, again” 

Amvona Fund, a Seeking Alpha contributor, tops Barron’s best hedge fund list again in October, boasting one-year returns of 119.6% and one-month returns of 13.4%.  Amvona picks featured on SA include Skechers (SKX) +71% and Western Digital (WDC) +121%.”—Seeking Alpha – Market Currents

Thank you for one of the most… entertaining articles ever to appear on SA...”—

Wow! Fantastic Article!”—

I tip my cap to Emmanuel Lemelson…”— Michael Ranalli,

Thanks for this very fascinating article...” —

Wanted to say, what an excellent write-up on WWE! Quite comprehensive and includes a hint of caution on the irrationality of the markets even at these valuations.” —

A fascinating article; much more informative and well-written than the usual fare...” —

Love your humor and insights…” —

…Your article on Cisco from Feb. 13, 2011 ranked 265th that year (out of 67,978 articles), putting it in the top 99.9961%. Pretty impressive stuff...

Daniel Shvartsman
Senior Editor – Seeking Alpha Pro
Great Job Indeed...
Eli Hoffmann VP of Content – Editor in Cheif – Seeking Alpha
Thoroughly enjoyed your article. Great writing style. One of the best I’ve read recently. Thank you.” —
I look forward to your next idea – I am very impressed with the work you put out… it’s never to late to read one of your reports”— Anonymous RIA (100 M AUM), Menlo Park, CA 
This article is just fantastic!!! It is the best written logical and to the point discussion on the topic.  I am sure if you use the same logic in your priesthood then I am sure God exist!!!  I actually was in search of inspiration like this but could not find it on my own.”— Dr. Nicolas Jabbour,Professor of Surgery – Umass Medical School
Thanks for this compelling and well researched overview of WDC overall business world… with a humor touch as a bonus.” —
Excellent piece…”— Adib Motiwala,
Nothing more to add but Bravo.”—
Excellent article in describing investor psychology. Appreciate you taking the time to prepare as this is good reading for any type investor. Also, very good timing.” —
…thank you so much for preaching to this choir member.  I feel as though Matt Taibbi and, now, you are the only people, of whom I am aware, that adequately articulate that:  Not only does the emperor have no clothes but possibly no Empire without our cooperation.  Well done!”—
I was recently re-reading your Oct. 31 article (here) on how Western Digital is an ideal acquisition target. The stock is up 40% since you wrote that article, so a hearty congratulations on the long position…  The share price appreciation has certainly paid off for investors…  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic… I’m sure SA readers would feel the same…”
Rachael Granby
Director of Buyside Content
…another great article series, mirroring great thinking...” —
Thank you very much for such a thorough and detailed article—
Great Article…Thanks again for a well researched article” —
…your article was a very good read…” —
Finally, someone is telling the entire truth about Cisco… I am thankful for your research and candid article. History will prove you are right… Thank You”—
…while generally agree with your article, I’d like to point out something you may have missed: You may have a great second avocation as a writer of humorous financial articles. Heaven knows, WE NEED IT!  Thanks for a very deliberative essay, and delivering it in a very readable format!”—
This is yet another clear, concise, yet thorough analysis of Western Digital and the HDD industry, thank you… your captioned blog is leading the list of article links I am publishing in my aggregate news service today. It is emailed to over 400 HDD, investment, and supply chain execs in the industry twice per week. I really felt that you nailed it and that you have done so consistently over the last several months.  It was time to highlight you to friends and clients in the industry.”— Gary Davis, Davis Consultants Asia 
I give credit when credit is due and you Gregory really do your homework when you invest I give you that… I been following you for a few years now and all your articles on WDC, and I for one will be buying again if it dips, or has some correction, I think it is an outstanding business and at a very undervalued price like you pointed out.  You are really good at analyzing businesses that is for sure.  I take few peoples advice when it comes to investing since most people simply don’t have a clue even on here, but I always listen to yours since our investing style is so similar and since you make so much sense and everything is so well thought out by you.  Keep up the good work...”—
Those who shorted the stock at its peak (most notably Lemelson Capital, who also wrote a very compelling thesis to support their short position) would now be looking at a very handsome return.”— David Tristan Liu, 
Congrats on being correct about SKX… thank you for making us $$$...—

Readership and Influence – Economic Analysis:

On October 21st, 2011 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds (which is overseen by the Secretary of the Commonwealth) published a link to a pdf version of the amvona article “Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua” on their home page with Register of Deeds John O’Brien commenting:

Keep doing what your doing.  Not many people are willing to stand up to the big banks that have decided that they don’t have to play like everyone else…  Thanks to people like you the complicated matters and cases involved are being broken down into understandable, common language that is getting the information out Main Street.  Wall Street isn’t happy … but shame on them in the first place for participating in these fraudulent schemes.”John O’Brien, Register of Deeds
In October of 2011 the same article was featured by SeekingAlpha (which has over 50 million unique monthly readers) in “Market Currents” with the editors commenting:
Greg Lemelson makes the case that a little-noticed Massachusetts Supreme Court decision this week basically made all foreclosure sales in MA over the past 5 years “wholly void.” Of particular interest is the remedy to those who find themselves with worthless title – it’s not against the foreclosed homeowner, but against the bank/servicer that improperly foreclosed.”—SeekingAlpha, Market Currents
Prominent Attorney and consumer advocate Neil Garfield has said of the Amvona article “Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua“: 
…the best current status report for the mortgage mess that I’ve seen this week or for that matter, this year. It’s worth studying because it fills in a lot of spaces with real information and reality applied to the gaslight environment created by Wall Street.” —Neil Garfield, LivingLies Weblog
Nationally recognized homeowner advocate Lisa Epstein commented on the Amvona article “Eaton – Dividing the Mortgage Loan and Affirming the Consequent“:
Beautifully written.  Lyrical and truthful.  Thank You Gregory M. Lemelson” —Lisa Epstein,
 Writer Mike Bevel says of the Amvona article “Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua“:
Hey, do you live in Massachusetts? And did you buy a bank-foreclosed house? In the last five years? Oh boy. You’re probably going to want to sit down for this. You kept your moving boxes, right? And receipts? Because things are about to get a little complicated in the Bay State..” —Mike Bevel,
Nationally recognized foreclosure defense Attorney Mark Stopa says in referencing the Amvona article “On the ethics of mortgage loan default“: 
…a fascinating article about strategic default. There are a ton of terrific arguments and one-liners, but two parts I really like: (1) the conclusion it is unethical to pay a mortgage; and (2) criticizing foreclosure defense lawyers who advocate against strategic default, concluding that position is a byproduct of fear, shame, and guilt, not reason.” —Mark Stopa, Stopa Law Firm
This is a fantastic article written by Gregory M. Lemelson… I like his writing style… this article is a fun read, while somewhat tragic, when you understand what is and has been happening in our country. It is also highly instructive and articulates well many of the pertinent issues in this foreclosure scam around our country – which is nothing more than the seizure of homes and wealth in a massive transfer of money and property to the 1%.”— Lane A. Houk, War on the Home Front (On Eaton – Dividing the Mortgage Loan and Affirming the Consequent)
This is an incredible Article….”  – Tony Wikrent, Real Economics (On the ethics of Mortgage loan default)

A Few References – Faith and Religion


Boston Globe – Advocates call for removal of top Greek church official (October 12, 2016)
The National Interest – How American Christians Should Respond to Islamic Extremism (June 21, 2016)
Le Monde – L’habit ne fait pas le moine – (November 10, 2015)
Fox BusinessMeet the priest of Wall Street (November 5, 2015)
Wall Street JournalThe Priest Who Moonlights as a Hedge-Fund Manager  (October 26, 2015) 
The National Herald – Trump Blessed by Greek Orthodox Priest (October 16, 2015)
Sabah – Fonların kralı Papa’yla geldi (December 5, 2014) 
Fox News – Pope calls for an end to religious extremism (December 4, 2014)
FINalternatives – Hedge Fund Manager Lemelson Meets With Pope (December 4, 2014) – Hedge Fund Manager Joins Papal Delegation (December 3, 2014)
Lisa Daftari – Fox News – Pope calls for unity between Churches to combat persecution  (December 2, 2014)
The Boston Herald – Church’s long schism seen as shrinking (November 30, 2014)
The Washington Post – 3 things Pope Francis hopes to accomplish in Turkey (November 26, 2014)
Orthodox Christian Network – Not Just A Photo Op  (November 25, 2014)

A Few References – Security Analysis and Investing

Barron’s – Hedge Fund Alleges SEC Bias in Short-Selling Case (February 19, 2020)
Barron’s – Tesla CEO Elon Musk Is Wrong About Short Sellers (October 15, 2018) 
Metrowest Daily News – Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson releases letter (July 18, 2018)
Metrowest Daily News – Lemelson Capital Management calls for leadership changes (February 14, 2018)
Activist Insight  – Lemelson: Domino’s has the worst corporate governance  (Jan 23, 2018)


PBHFA   – The PBHFA Welcomes The Hedge Fund Priest (Jan 20, 2018)
TheFly     – Lemelson reports 10% stake in Geospace, urges share repurchases  (December 1, 2017)


SuperInvestor Bulletin’s Blog: 30.43 Percent Annualized Rate Of Return For This Firm You’ve Never Heard Of (January 23, 2017)
MetroWest Daily News – Lemelson Capital Management announces results (January 20, 2017)
Benzinga – Lemelson On Ligand: Intrinsic Value Is Zero (December 21, 2016)
Benzinga – Geospace Could Become A $65 Stock In 4 Years (May 11, 2016)
Yahoo Finance – EXCLUSIVE: Why Lemelson Is Still Short Netflix (February 8, 2016)
Benzinga – Hedge Fund Manager: Why Would Anyone Sell Apple? (August 13, 2015)
Yahoo Finance  – Exclusive: Why This Hedge Fund Manager Is Short Netflix  (July 17, 2015)
MasterInvestor Magazine – Fund Manager In Focus – Emmanuel Lemelson (June 8, 2015)
Barron’s – Stocks Climb 2% as Nasdaq Tops 15-Year Record (April 27, 2015)
USA Today – Smack down at World Wide Entertainment  (March 30, 2015)
Benzinga – WWE Slips On Network Subscriber Data  (March 30, 2015)
FINalternatives – Emmanuel Lemelson Questions Leadership, Strategy at WWE (March 19, 2015)
Benzinga – Why this hedge Fund Manager Sees Apple At $150 (December 30, 2014)
GiveMeSport – WWE: Vince McMahon urged to quit by hedge-fund manager  (December 15, 2014)
FINalternative – Lemelson Shrugs As WWE Preens (December 12, 2014)
Benzinga – The WWE Network’s Bumpy Road (December 1, 2014) 
Fansided – Vince McMahon, WWE Network Called Out By Law Firm (November 29, 2014) 
New York Post – WWE stock in sleeper hold as subscriptions stall (November 27, 2014)
Metrowest Daily News – Lemelson invests 2 percent stake in Geospace  (October 25, 2014)
SA Market Currents – Geospace +4.2% after activist discloses stake; Ion +5.9% (October 20, 2014)
The Fly on the Wall – Lemelson Capital reports 2% stake in Geospace (October 20, 2014) 
MetroWest Daily News –  Amvona Fund garners top-performing status (October 7, 2014)
HFMWeek – Who Wants To Be An SEC Target (September 24, 2014)
Benzinga – Lemelson Takes Down WWE And Brings It Back Up (September 11, 2014)
ValueWalk – Lemelson Capital Up 60% In Past 12 Months (September 5, 2014)
MetroWest Daily News – Lemelson commends Kulicke and Soffa on repurchase(August 29, 2014)
SA Market Currents – Kulicke & Soffa heeds activist’s call, launches buyback (August 27, 2014)
MetroWest Daily News – Lemelson: Ligand’s largest shareholder dumps stock (August 26, 2014)
The Fly on The Wall – Lemelson says Ligand has ‘lost favor with largest investors’  (August 25th, 2014)
Hedge Fund Alert – High-Flying Fund May Bar Entry (August 20th, 2014)


Hedge Fund Alert – Much Confusion Surrounds JOBS Act Filings (August 13th, 2014)
Daily Reckoning – How a Priest Could Wrestle Profits from the WWE (July 18th, 2014)
MetroWest Daily News – Lemelson reports strong performance of Amvona Fund (July 18, 2014)
ValueWalk – Despite Rough January, Lemelson Capital Up 20% YTD  (July 17th, 2014)
SA Market Currents – Bearish outlook for Ligand from Lemelson Capital (June 16th, 2014)
MetroWest Daily News – Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson (June 16th, 2014)
The Motley Fool – Should the McMahons Still be Running WWE?  (June 7th, 2014)
SA Market Currents –  Kulicke & Soffa higher on bullish B. Riley note (June 4th, 2014)
Columbia Consulting Group – Investment Firm Requests Executive Shakeup at WWE  (June 2nd, 2014)
MetroWest Daily News – Barron’s again honors Lemelson Capital (May 29, 2014)
The Motley Fool – Will the WWE Network Ever Make Money?  (May 20th, 2014)
SNL Kagan:WWE/NBC rights deal: The red wedding(May 19th, 2014)
Givemesport – Vince McMahon to be removed from the WWE? (May 19th, 2014)
The Post and Courier – Best and worst of times for WWE champion Daniel Bryan (May 18th, 2014)
SA Market Currents –  WWE’s stock smackdown is a blow to Vince McMahon’s credibility (May 17th, 2014)
The Fly on the Wall – Lemelson Capital now long WWE (May 16, 2014
SA Market Currents   Kulicke & Soffa soars on strong FQ3 guidance (April 29th, 2014)
SNL Kagan – Part 2: WWE’s fall from grace (April 16th, 2014) 
SNL Kagan – Part 1: WWE Network profitable or on the ropes? (April 15th, 2014)

The Street – Why World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Stock Finished Down Today (April 11th, 2014)

USA Today – World Wrestling pummeled four out of five rounds this week (April 11th, 2014)

Market Currents – SeekingAlpha –  WWE can’t pull out of a slide (April 11th, 2014)

ValueWalk – Amvona Short Call Sends WWE Tumbling (April 7th, 2014)

Benzinga – WWE Has Monster Run, But Could It Soon Be Slammed? (April 4th, 2014)

“Editors’ Pick” – Gurufocus – “The Short Case for World Wrestling Entertainment (March 17th, 2014)

SA Market Currents – SA author Amvona ranks first among hedge funds, again (Nov 25th, 2013)

“Editors’ Pick” – Gurufocus – “Apple’s Crime and Punishment” (March 14th, 2013)

Lighting Rumours – Photoflex pays $100k damages to settle Amvona defamation case (Feb 27th, 2013)

Digital Journal – Amvona blog to donate $100,000 to charity from defamation lawsuit (Feb 26, 2013)

 “Editors’ Pick” – Gurufocus – “Is Western Digital an Ideal Acquisition Target?” (Oct 31st, 2012)
Do You Have a MERS Mortgage? [p. 99] (Richie Collins, Oct. 11th, 2012, Createspace Publishing)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Registry of Deeds “Henrietta Eaton and the Boston Foreclosure Party” (June 26th, 2012)
Neil Garfield LivingLies Weblog “Mass Supremes Declare Note and Mortgage Must Be Owned by Same Party” (June 25th, 2012)
Stopforeclosurefraud “Henrietta Eaton and the Boston Foreclosure Party” (June 22nd, 2012)
“Editor’s Pick” – SeekingAlpha – “On the value of Users, Hard Drives and Batteries” (June 13th, 2012)
“Editors’ Pick” – Gurufocus – “On the value of Users, Hard Drives and Batteries” (June 13th, 2012)
Neil Garfield LivingLies Weblog “OWNERSHIP IN QUESTION: Is it ethical to pay your mortgage?” (February 23rd,2012)
Neil Garfield LivingLies Weblog “REQUIRED READING: WHETHER THE MORTGAGE IS PERFECTED” (October 27th, 2011)
“Editor’s Pick” – SeekingAlpha – “Implications Of The Bevilacqua Ruling” (October 25th, 2011)
Mike Bevel – Massachusetts Set to Overrule Past Foreclosures; Harbinger for ARM Industry? (October 25th, 2011)
Ethan A. Huff – NaturalNews “Supreme Court rules that thousands of home foreclosures are invalid because banks do not have promissory notes” – Mistakenly attributed to (October 25th, 2011)
Mortgage Fraud Investigations – Miami Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua (October 24th, 2011)
Tyler Durden Zerohedge Amvona article featured on Zerohedge (October 22nd, 2011)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Registry of Deeds “Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua” (October 21st, 2011)
SA Market Currents – SeekingAlpha US Economy “Greg Lemelson makes the case that a little-noticed Massachusetts Supreme Court decision this week basically made all foreclosure sales in MA over the past 5 years “wholly void”… (October 20th, 2011, 6:01 p.m.)
Stopforeclosurefraud Guest Post: Houston, we’ve got a problem – Bevilacqua (October 19th, 2011)
Lane A. Houk – War on the Home Front Dividing the Mortgage Loan and Affirming the Consequent (October 13th, 2011)
ForeclosureGate Gazette On the ethics of mortgage loan default (June 6th, 2011)
Mark Stopa – Fear, Shame, and Guilt? Or Reason? (June 5th, 2011)
Tyler Durden – ZerohedgeGuest Post: On The Ethics Of Mortgage Loan Default (June 4th, 2011)
“Editors’ Pick” – Gurufocus – “Lions and Tigers and Cisco Bears! Oh My!” (May 28th, 2011)
Martin Andelman – Mandelman Matters Mass Hysteria – The Iabanez Decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court (January, 2011)
4closurefraud TATTOOS, PYRAMID SCHEMES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (November 17th, 2010)

Photography, E-commerce and Technology Related References


Mashable – Amvona Launches Site-Specific Search for Photographers  (February 21, 2008)

Related Patents


United States 11/750,321
Filed May 17th, 2007
United States 11/674,516
Filed February 13th, 2007
United States 11/564,108
Issued November 28th, 2006
United States 11/198,841
Issued August 5th, 2005



Amvona was started in 1999 by American entrepreneur and investor Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson as a graduate student. The site was originally built as hybrid e-commerce and social networking platform to sell photo accessories which were also developed by the company. Between inception in late 1999 and the end of operations in early 2010, the company shipped over 1 million photo accessories to approximately 300,000 customers worldwide, receiving ~200,000 positive comments along the way.
The Compound Annual Growth Rate between 1999 and 2006 was ~120%.
According to Google Analytics, the original Amvona photo-related site received approximately 750,000 unique visitors per month at its peak and is referenced in numerous books and manuals as a primary source for photo equipment.  By 2005 Alexa ranked amongst the 10 ten most visited online photo retailers.
In the Fall of 2009 Amvona added a blog to its eCommerce platform and by April 2010 discontinued its e-commerce operations in order to focus exclusively on the blog. 

More History


AT-3052 300x400
In 1999 Amvona reluctantly launched its site to sell its “homespun” photo equipment wrapped up in a social context (before the word “social networking” meant anything to anyone other than 1950’s era sociologists). We also created an integrated and “open” community for our users to share their images.  Given the fact that some folks still thought the Internet was a passing fad, (particularly in the wake of the bursting .com bubble) “open” was hardly cool.   It is difficult to believe in retrospect, but back then, photo sharing not to mention digital cameras were almost unheard of, and they were certainly not linked to any sort of online commerce. Putting it together in 1999 took a bit of an intellectual stretch and a streak of imagination.
Long before social meta-data was commonplace or even understood, its derivatives such as user profiles, product reviews, EXIF data, and online tracking, were already being employed by Amvona to sell products. Through the use of proprietary technology, this fluid, constantly updated, and real-time user-centric content was being regenerated and wrapped around products across multiple online platforms.  This allowed Amvona to seamlessly launch products into a vast network of potential customers; when a  purchase was made, the Amvona member became part of an unbroken and automated feedback loop across these multiple platforms, thus sales begot more sales, and revenue grew exponentially.  In fact, sales grew at a far greater calculus than the products could be manufactured and restocked especially given the entirely self-financed nature of the operation through its early years.  User content that was generated on one platform could automatically be regenerated and shared in real-time across multiple other platforms.  This technology and the approach resulted in Amvona being cited in several prominent publications on Internet marketing (although few knew about or understood the tools we had developed to produce these results).
However, our story was not only about delivering products in a more meaningful fashion it was also about trying to shatter a boutique industry that sometimes functioned more like an “exclusive club”, and bordered on anti-competitive practices that were ultimately unfriendly to the consumer.  We felt that in addition to being unethical, it was also incongruent with the advent of increasingly low-cost digital cameras which would ultimately re-energize the industry and make photography accessible to millions more.  This meant competing on price, which strange as it may seem, few others appeared to be thinking of given the incestuous DNA of the industry.  Despite meeting the pricing objective Amvona maintained operating margins which we believe were at the very top of the industry.
In order to achieve this, in 2000 (believing that China could ultimately manufacturer high tech products that were at least “as good” as European manufacturers) we moved our manufacturing base to China (at the time understood as the destination du jour for shoes and T-shirts, but not photo equipment).  In those “stone ages” of the Internet, many thought “made in China” was a four-letter word when it came to photo equipment. However, because the competition actually understood the potential implications of this part of what we were doing (unlike our technology), this move created an interesting backlash.  Nonetheless, when you undercut your competition by 70%, they tend to not only notice, but follow.  It is safe to say that not long afterward, the “Amvona business model” was downloaded more than once, and all feelings about Chinese manufacturing were put aside.   By 2006 most major photo retailers had some form of the “Amvona model”, many also copying Amvona product designs along the way.
But if we had a passion, it was for creating innovative web technology and products that incorporated significant invention in their design.  We are amazed to find the concepts we developed back in those days (which many called crazy) in wide use across a spectrum of sites today.  This, of course, was not as easy to replicate, because of the transient nature of real technology, and the necessity of seeing trends long before they occurred in an environment where life-cycles were increasing in frequency.  
Rarely does a day go by that we don’t hear from former customers complaining that we no longer sell photo equipment.  We did not realize just how many people we had reached with our value proposition, or how important the brand had become for so many.  It is fulfilling to know that we had a positive effect in some way on so many people and that our products are still be used by photographers all over the world.

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This website may contain rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson’s current views on the value of one or more securities and actions that might be taken to enhance the value of those securities. Fr. Lemelson’s views are based on his analysis of publicly available information and assumptions he believes to be reasonable. There can be no assurance that the information he considered is accurate or complete, nor can there be any assurance that his assumptions are correct. The actual performance and results of the companies discussed on this site may differ materially from his assumptions and analysis. We have not sought, nor have we received, permission from any third-party to include their information on this site. Any such information should not be viewed as indicating the support of such third party for the views expressed on this site. Fr Lemelson does not recommend or advise, nor does he intend to recommend or advise, any person to purchase or sell securities and no one should rely on this site or any information contained herein to purchase or sell securities or consider purchasing or selling securities. Although Fr. Lemelson may state in this site what he believes should be the value of certain securities, this site does not purport to be, nor should it be read, as an expression of any opinion or prediction as to the price at which such securities may trade at any time. Fr. Lemelson’s views and his holdings of the securities mentioned on this site could change at any time. He may sell any or all of his holdings or increase his holdings by purchasing additional securities. He may take any of these or other actions regarding any of such securities without updating this site or providing any notice whatsoever of any such changes. Investors should make their own decisions regarding the companies mentioned on this site and their prospects without relying on, or even considering, any of the information contained herein.