The payments startup Clinkle, led by the 24 year old CEO and founder, Lucas Duplan, continues to struggle. The company most recently lost 7 employees, who quit in protest of Duplan. The remaining team is believed to be less than a dozen, down from 70 several years ago.
He’s believed to have quietly dug for more buyout offers in hopes of improving his financial status because he holds an outsized amount of equity in the startup. As suspicions of a hidden Apple offer swirled, Duplan fired the company’s CFO and VP of engineering, which is said to have been the last straw for quite a few employees. Duplan has tasked the remaining team with stopping development of Clinkle’s debit card product to pivot the company into a business to business API for payment rewards. This is only the latest bad news after years of ridicule for its massive $30 million funding round despite lacking a publicly available product, and highly critical reports of Duplan’s leadership through repeated layoffs at Clinkle.