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  • Apple Reportedly Spoke with Clinkle, the Troubled Payments Startup

    A recent report claims that seven employees from the payments startup, Clinkle, recently quit their jobs due to CEO Lucas Duplan withholding information regarding a potential acquisition with Apple. According to the folks over at TechCrunch, Duplan’s failure to inform employees about Apple’s interest in Clinkle was one of the many problems but ultimately the edge-tipping factor in the former employees’ decision to quit. For those of you who didn’t know, Clinkle made many big headlines back in 2013 after it landed more than $30 million in funding from several big-name investors but has yet to produce a viable product since.

    The startup originally focused on the ultrasound-based mobile payment technology but after years without a tangible product, Clinkle pivoted a debit card system called “Treats” that pays out lottery style rewards. Although it isn’t available publicly, users are issued special cards that accrue Treats every seven purchases. The “Treat” is then set to a friend who has the chance to be given back $25 on their next purchase.

    The Cupertino California company supposedly met with a team from Clinkle back in February in an effort to look into the viability of integrating the rewards system technology into Apple Pay. The team also met with Google but the search giant didn’t seem as interested in pursuing any acquisition according to reports. The companies who expressed interest at some point or another included Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and Visa.

    It was mentioned that Duplan supposedly kept employees out of the loop and dangled hope of an acquisition by major tech players as an incentive to stay and continue to work at the company. To make matters worse, Duplan kept name dropping Apple in an effort to keep employees interested and motivated even several months after the meeting in February. This led to some of the employees suspecting a rejection and two of the high-level executives were even supposedly fired after they made inquiries into the rumored Apple deal.

    After several weeks, Duplan ended up abandoning the idea of the debit card platform in favor of a mobile API for business-to-business rewards. This move was reportedly one that was taken in an effort to gain leverage over Apple with the idea that the company would have to acquire Clinkle to avoid the technology being made available to competitors. There were previous rumors that Apple was looking to roll out a rewards system as part of Apple Pay with speculation pointing towards the feature helping the service stand out among others in the sector.

    Source: TechCrunch
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Reportedly Spoke with Clinkle, the Troubled Payments Startup started by Akshay Masand View original post