Marco Nardone, the startup founder who burnt through $US21 million (£16 million) as he tried to turn his social media app Fling into the next Snapchat, has started a new music streaming company called Gig FM.
Gig FM, which has a website but is yet to launch, was incorporated by Nardone on January 23, less than half a year after Fling filed for bankruptcy, according to a document filed with Companies House.
Gig FM’s upcoming iOS and Android apps will allow musicians to broadcast live performances to Gig FM users in exchange for “Gift Points” that can be cashed out, according to Gig FM’s website. “You don’t need to perform on stage anymore,” the website reads. “Broadcast on Gig FM to thousands, and withdraw gifts as cash to your PayPal instantly.”
Gig FM explains that fans will be able to comment on live performances and request certain songs, while artists will be able to save their live recordings to a profile. Users will also be able to create playlists and use the app as a music player.
Gig FM’s design looks very similar to Fling and one of Fling’s former engineers told Business Insider that the app actually has “exactly the same code base” as Fling.
The news that Nardone is planning to launch a new company so soon after Fling’s demise will not be welcomed by a number of parties, a different former Fling employee told Business Insider. “His ex-employees, owed suppliers, and initial investors will be very disappointed that he has been able to shrug off his responsibilities around Fling and simply start up again a matter of months later,” said the ex-employee, who wishes to remain anonymous.
More than a dozen people claimed they were mistreated by the privileged 29-year-old while working at Fling, which was bankrolled by Nardone’s multimillionaire father, Remo Nardone, a successful wine distributor in his eighties, and a network of wealthy individuals from the UK, Italy, and Asia. It’s unclear who has invested in Gig FM.
After Unii (Fling’s parent company) went bankrupt, Nardone set up another company called DSCVR Ltd and used this business to make an offer for Fling of £250,000 on August 4, 2016, which was accepted on August 31, 2016. That company has since gone into liquidation, according to a document filed with Companies House.
Nardone has been travelling around the world ever since he shut down Fling and left several staff with months of unpaid wages. “He appears to not have a care in the world,” said a former Fling employee.
Nardone did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.