At some point after investing tens of millions of dollars in 22-year-old Lucas Duplan, investors decided a boy with no experience wasn't fit for the job. So they installed the former CFO of Netflix, who just bailed. This company is fucked.
A recap: Clinkle is a mobile payments app that uses sound waves to transmit purchases from your phone to stores. No app has been released to the public, despite Clinkle having been around for three years. During those three years, the company has seen giant layoffs, plummeting morale, and yes, no launch of anything.
"He's taking an enormous amount of shit and we would all agree he's done some dumb stuff," McCarthy said.
To say the least. Duplan is trying to combat this farce by granting press interviews, which, if you're green and incompetent, is probably a bad idea for your company! But it's illuminating. In a statement to Business Insider:
"I've certainly made mistakes, no doubt about it," Duplan says. "My job is to get the right people on the bus. And once they're on the bus, to get those people in the right seats. This is my first bus. Figuring out who we need and where they fit in is a very tough exercise...I'm young and this is my first time as CEO. If someone older was running this, would it have been a straighter shot? Maybe."
Clinkle is less a bus than a kayak that's being sucked down a whirlpool, but the kid is an engineering head, not a man of metaphors. There's also this nugget of fiscal horror:
Stanford University also invested a few million more dollars late last year through a partnership between the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University and the school's StartX program. All in, Clinkle has raised $30 —40 million; Duplan says there is more than $20 million left in the bank.
Which means Clinkle has spent as much as $20 million on absolutely nothing.