27 February 2017
visit nextgenbanking.co.uk

Bowie, Bentleys and Cantonese: Powa failure fallout rumbles on

09 March 2016  |  8477 views  |  1 dan wagner

The fallout from Powa Technologies' collapse continues, as details of over-hyped deals, Wikipedia shenanigans, comedy videos and David Bowie tributes paint a picture of a company in turmoil, led by a David Brent-esque CEO.

Despite once boasting it was worth $2.7 billion, payments firm Powa went into administration last month. After failing to pay suppliers and staff for months, Deloitte was finally called in, with 72 people losing their jobs.

In the aftermath, a picture has emerged of a dysfunctional environment at the company, led by serial entrepreneur Dan Wagner. In a LinkedIn post Steven Prowse, who spent three months as the firm's acting CFO, says Wagner is "just a salesman obsessed with image - mainly his own".

Prowse even claims that Wagner parked his Bentley in a disabled spot, using a sticker belonging to a parent.



And the ex-CFO has also shared an email purporting to show Wagner dressed up as David Bowie. The email is dated 12 January, in the midst of Powa's financial crisis, when many staff were not getting paid.


Wagner's office clown demeanor is also in evidence in a video sent to staff at the end of last year in which he mugs for the camera and attempts to talk simplified Cantonese.

The Chinese patter is in celebration of Powa's deal with the country's UnionPay card scheme. However, digging by the Financial Times shows that Powa actually only signed a joint venture deal with a small Guangzhou-based mobile payments company called CN2Pay.

China UnionPay sent a cease-and-desist order via law firm King & Wood Mallesons "asking for evidence of a relationship between China UnionPay or the subsidiary UnionPay Network Payment and Powa, which they had not been able to find. If they couldn’t provide that evidence, the letter asked them to, y’know, cut it out," says the FT.

Overhyping deals appears to be a pattern - according to Business Insider most of the 1200 clients Powa once claimed to have signed up to its PowaTag payments app had not inked a contract, merely "expressed interest".

Business Insider has also discovered that Wagner's Wikipedia page has been edited in recent days to downplay Powa's collapse. Since 2009, Wikipedia user Techtrek has only edited one page - Wagner's, which the mysterious fan has amended around 100 times.

 

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 10 March, 2016, 11:38

It is much better than this...  

Insightful spoof twitter account from  an apparently well informed insider check out @danwagnerpowa

 

 

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Administrators sell failed Powa units

Administrators sell failed Powa units

03 March 2016  |  5532 views  |  0 comments | 3 tweets | 2 linkedin
Powa Technologies goes into administration - FT

Powa Technologies goes into administration - FT

19 February 2016  |  12220 views  |  14 comments | 26 tweets | 8 linkedin
Powa struggles to pay staff and suppliers

Powa struggles to pay staff and suppliers

17 February 2016  |  6861 views  |  1 comments | 9 tweets | 6 linkedin
Vodafone enlists Powa for QR-based top ups

Vodafone enlists Powa for QR-based top ups

03 August 2015  |  7663 views  |  0 comments | 6 tweets | 7 linkedin
Powa buys MPayMe in $75m deal

Powa buys MPayMe in $75m deal

12 June 2014  |  7467 views  |  1 comments | 5 tweets | 7 linkedin
Powa bids to revolutionise commerce

Powa bids to revolutionise commerce

04 March 2014  |  5915 views  |  4 comments | 2 tweets | 3 linkedin
Powa plans 250 UK jobs after $76m funding round

Powa plans 250 UK jobs after $76m funding round

21 August 2013  |  6452 views  |  0 comments | 3 tweets

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit dh.com

Who is commenting?

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
EBA to relax controversial PSD2 authentication rulesEBA to relax controversial PSD2 authentica...
13229 views comments | 52 tweets | 74 linkedin
RBS to become fintech fund and high street outlet for challenger banks under HMT remedyRBS to become fintech fund and high street...
8717 views comments | 40 tweets | 34 linkedin
BNY Mellon seeks blockchain experts for new emerging biz and tech teamBNY Mellon seeks blockchain experts for ne...
7333 views comments | 7 tweets | 4 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyBlockchain Technology
7091 views 1 | 18 tweets | 7 linkedin
High rate of defaults hit P2P lending sectorHigh rate of defaults hit P2P lending sect...
7018 views comments | 19 tweets | 13 linkedin

Featured job

Six Figure Base + Commission + Stock Options
London

Find your next job