A video has been posted on YouTube of the CEO of Powa Technologies telling staff that their bonuses will be delayed and the Christmas party has been cancelled. Powa went bankruptcy last month.
The clip, uploaded by an account called “Powa Leaks”, appears to be an internal video to staff prepared by CEO and founder Dan Wagner. A former Powa employee confirmed to Business Insider that the video was sent to staff in early December 2015.
In it, Wagner says Powa is on track to become a “fantastic growth business in 2016 for us, our shareholders and our customers.”
But he says uncertainty around funding means bonuses will be deferred until after Christmas and the staff Christmas party will also be delayed until February. The former employee who confirmed the video says staff have yet to receive their promised bonuses and party.
We go into 2016 hopefully well-funded. At the moment I can’t commit to that and that may have implications for the way in which we deal with staff bonuses at year end. I want to push that into delivering staff bonuses and providing reward when we deliver 3.0 in Tag [PowaTag, the company’s mobile payments app] and China UnionPay at the end of January and the other deliverables that we have around Taiwan, all happening in the early part of Q1.
The payments company was once reportedly valued at $2.7 billion (£1.8 billion), and it raised at least $220 million in investment funding since 2013. But last month it collapsed into administration with just $250,000 in the bank. Problems first emerged when Powa failed to pay staff on time in January.
The video begins with the song “I like Chinese” by Monty Python playing in the background before Wagner says “It’s all about China” in simplified Cantonese and English. He says: “That’s the focus of this organisation, it’s all about China.”
Powa signed a deal to take it into China in early December. At the time, Wagner called the deal an “800 lb gorilla” and forecast revenues of $5 billion from the deal.
Wagner says in the video: “We’ve been focused on delivery but we haven’t yet delivered everything we need to make this company into the great success we know it will be. 2016 will be the year we deliver that success.” He says that the business is on track to become “a fantastic growth business in 2016 for us, our shareholders and our customers.”
Wagner then alludes to issues with the company, saying: “There is no option for failure. We’re going to succeed. This year we’ve struggled to address some of the issues that we’ve had to deal with along the way but really that is now behind us and I see us moving into 2016 in a very strong and positive way.”
Wagner ends the video by saying:
I’m very proud of you all, you’ve done a fantastic job this year. You are about to deliver the most exciting mobile engagement platform for the world in 2016, starting in China and rolling out across the world from there. We’re engaged at the highest level with the biggest partners and I see fantastic success down the road, and not that far down the road.
Dan Wagner did not respond to an email or call requesting comment. Administrators Deloitte, who now speak and act for Powa, did not immediately respond to request for comment. We’ll update if we hear back.