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Ex-Employees on What It's Like Working at Stealth Start-up Clinkle

Former employees of the payment app start-up, which raised a historic $25 million pre-launch, claim the founder is a "shark" who treats staff poorly.
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A few weeks ago, Business Insider named 19 people who have already left a tech startup called Clinkle.

Clinkle is a buzzy payment app that raised $25 million pre-launch. Earlier this year, it claimed to have gotten the largest seed round of financing that's ever been raised in Silicon Valley. The app's CEO, Lucas Duplan, is a first-time founder. The app still hasn't launched publicly.

Now, two people who say they are former employees have written a brutal post on Quora about what it's like to work for Clinkle. These people say they were glad to quit, and list 31 employees who have left the company. It's not clear if the authors are on the list or not. Not all of these people quit. Some may have been fired or were students who had to return to school.

The reason everyone is leaving, these two say, is simple: It's because of the startup's founder, Lucas Duplan. Duplan is no older than 22. When asked for comment, a Clinkle spokesperson replied: "We're not going to get into the habit of commenting on anonymous posts about the company."

"The man really has no right to be in the position he is in," the pair write on Quora. "He hurts his employees daily and shoves it under the rung [sic] as collateral damage. He only cares about one thing and that's making the company successful--ironically enough he never stopped to notice that as a tech company in today's tech industry, where it is nearly impossible to recruit great talent, his number one asset is his team, yet his way of showing appreciation if any at all, is by superficially throwing money at the problem."

Obviously, the post should be taken with a grain of salt. These are disgruntled ex-employees, and we haven't heard Duplan's side of the story. And being a CEO isn't about making friends; it's about making decisions that help the company, regardless of whether they are popular with staff.

In fact, the alleged ex-employees acknowledge that Duplan is "brilliant in his own right," as evidenced by the fact that he was able to accomplish what no one has done before and raise a $25 million pre-launch round.

But they say Duplan is a "shark" and that his employees are nothing more than "a pawn on his chess board."

This article originally appeared on Business Insider

Last updated: Nov 26, 2013




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