Mobile payments start-up Clinkle has secured fresh investment from Virgin mogul Richard Branson, and announced that it has signed up 100,000 prospective users ahead of its roll-out to US college campuses later this year.
Branson's investment in Clinkle comes just months after the mysterious start-up secured $25 million in seed funding from an illustrious group of VCs and private investors, including Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital, Intuit, former PayPayPal chief Peter Thiel, former vice chairman of Wells Fargo Bob Joss, and VMWare co-founders Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum.
Reports from early tests of the product imply that it uses high-frequency sound waves to transfer payment signals between mobile devices and merchant terminals.
Much like Facebook, Clinkle will initially be made available to college students, where critical mass may be easier to achieve among committed users and hyper-local merchants.
The company says Stanford University, University of Michigan, Duke University, Southern Methodist University, and University of Alabama are upfront in student sign-ups to the Clinkle wait list.
Alongside the new investment from Branson, the company has also released a teaser video: