Lucas Duplan is in a position like no other. He's dropped out of one of the most prestigious universities in America and has somehow convinced 20 of his friends to do the same to help develop his enterprise. He is the 22-year-old founder of Clinkle, an app that allows you to make purchases with your iPhone. He's been given a whopping $25 million of startup money by venture capitalists, but not just any -- the best names in the business.
Accel Partners, which helped develop Facebook, Groupon and Spotify, are behind them, and so are Andreessen Horowitz, Intuit, Peter Thiel, Marc Benioff, Diane Green and others, including Duplan's former professors at Stanford. He has 50 employees on board with plans to expand even more and he hasn't even released a single product yet.
Spectators may be perplexed about the huge amount of funding and support that Duplan has drawn without releasing an app, but there is certainly no confusion when it comes to what they're trying to do. Change the world.
One demonstrative graphic on Clinkle's official website reads, "Paying friends and merchants just became a thing of beauty. Just type and swipe and kiss cards, cash, and check goodbye."
Clinkle is hoping to follow the Facebook model of slowly emerging onto the scene by way of college campuses, testing it's trendiness at universities before releasing it to the world.
It's the type of mission statement that is indicative of a big project, which requires even bigger funding. While there are no specific details on exactly how it works -- except for the fact that it does work -- CNN says that Duplan will be using the money for the product's public unveiling this fall, as well as for funding the addition of security features to the app for an operation that very much has a sink or swim element to it.
On the one hand, it's hard to imagine a world in which the wallet becomes completely obsolete, yet that is exactly what Daplan is trying to do. On the other hand, if Clinkle does manage the feat, they'll crush Square, and every other competitor with ease.
Whatever the outcome, at 22-years old, Duplan has the funds and the support from friends to financial giants. Now only time will tell if he will become the next tech prodigy and truly change the world. Stay tuned.
Via Valley Wag, Photo courtesy Clinkle