November 3, 2013
In August we wrote about a Silicon Valley Startup that got $25 Million in Funding. Its in stealth mode and talk of the town. Recently, former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy, joined this very secretive Startup Clinkle as the chief operating officer. Clinkle a payments startup was found in 2011 by a Stanford University graduate Lucas Duplan, who is also the CEO. The company currently has over 50 employees mostly Stanford Graduates fresh out of college. Emergence of Clinkle in the startup space focusing on the payments vertical is certainly a positive sign for entrepreneurs interested in starting up in the payments space. What's most appealing is that the company has been successful in bagging $25 Million in funding. Backed by VC's, Clinkle is currently working on innovative ideas to deal with payments. One of them certainly is the sound based payment system. The list of investors includes Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Diane Greene, Jim Breyer, Marc Benioff and Owen Van Natta. A lot of them from Paypal mafia. Richard Branson is also known to have invested in the company.
The company’s payment offerings are not yet out in public as the product is still in Beta stages and is undergoing tests and corrections at Stanford University. But reliable sources say that it is a sound based payment system. These are payment systems that use sound waves to connect smartphones with another device. Secure payments are made over the cloud with the help of sound based technology and data is exchanged through smartphones’ microphones/speakers. Microsoft’s Dhwani and Verifone’s Way2ride in New York are great examples. Clinkle is expected to be using sound wave technology similar to Verifone’s Zoosh.
As the next step, Clinkle wants to extend its services to other college campuses and build a base of students and add merchants over a period of time. Watch this video by WSJ Digits about Clinkle's team being comprised of Stanford graduates.
According to the CEO of Clinkle, his focus is on software of the mobile payments solution and not essentially on improving the existing hardware. One of the sources at Clinkle has revealed that beeping sounds will be used to communicate to the VeriFone machines that already exist in stores to make the transactions. Considering the amount of funding they have bagged, and the people backing it, it will be interesting to follow Clinkle to find out the future course of action of this company. We will keep you updated.
Note: This is an updated article (with more info), originally published on LTP in August.