Payments start-up Clinkle appears to be experiencing severe growth pains as it lays off staff and restructures its operations in the wake of a recent $25 million funding round.
Founded by 22-year old Lucas Duplan, Clinkle turned Silicon Valley heads in June when it announced a $25 million seed funding round before it had even launched its first product.
Although continuing to operate in stealth mode, the company is understood to have developed a prototype application that uses high-frequency sound waves to transfer payment signals between mobile devices and merchant terminals.
In October, Clinkle hired former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy as its chief operating office. He was joined earlier this month by two other Netflix alumni, Andrew Rendich who was named vice president of operations and Allison Hopkins who was given the title vice president of talent.
The new intake has set to work on a dramatic restructuring programme that has seen the termination of 25% of Clinkle staff (16 employees) ahead of the commercial launch of the company's mobile payments application at US college campuses.
The lay-offs are in addition to the departure of 31 employees earlier this year, leading to recriminations from disgruntled ex-staffers who complained that they had put in long hours in return for promises of equity which were not forthcoming.
In a statement, Clinkle says: "Our objective in today's organisational restructuring is to better allocate our resources and work towards ensuring that we have the right people in the right roles. Sixteen employees (about 25% of the company) were affected in the areas of ops, growth, and human resources. This is in addition to the 30+ employees that were already reported to have left Clinkle".
Of the latter, Clinkle says "some were part-time, some were students, some were contractors".