There’s no way around it: Clinkle, a stealthy startup with over $US30 million in funding is a big mess right now.
Yesterday, it said the company’s COO left after less than five months on the job and design head Josh Brewster resigned after less than ten days.
This follows multiple rounds of layoffs.
A Bloomberg report suggests the company’s lead engineer’s stint was even shorter than Brewster’s, leaving after just one day on the job.
But one story from September is the most cringeworthy Clinkle management moment so far.
According to Bloomberg’s Adam Satariano, Clinkle took some of its staff members on a party bus to celebrate the first 100,000 beta signups. Only a few days later, a dozen people on that bus were fired.
Here’s the excerpt:
In September, after Clinkle had signed up more than 100,000 people interested in testing its app, Duplan treated the team in charge to a night of carousing on a party bus stocked with booze. The hangovers came the next weekend, when he summarily fired more than a dozen people from the celebrating team in a cost-cutting move, say five former staffers who didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation.
A Clinkle spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.
One of the most troubling parts of Clinkle, aside from the layoffs, is the fact that the product still hasn’t launched yet. Its $US25 million fundraise was announced last summer, marking the largest startup seed round ever raised in Silicon Valley history. Barry McCarthy, the COO who recently departed, told Re/code’s Jason Del Rey that he expected the product to launch last November.
When asked about the delayed launch, a Clinkle spokesperson said the product technically hasn’t been delayed because the company has never publicly announced a specific launch date. “Like any startup, we’ve set deadlines,” she said. “Things have been very fluid. We’ve never announced a date externally.”
When asked if a launch date had been discussed — and passed — internally she reiterated, “we’ve never announced a date externally.”
The company says it has more than $US20 million left in the bank. According to a filing, the company has raised $US30.5 million to date.
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