Hey, if you felt a faint disturbance in the force this morning, here’s why: Lucas Duplan, a kid barely old enough to drink, just raised a $25 million seed round for his stealth payments startup, which is called “Clinkle.” According to AllThingsD, the company is telling everyone it’s the largest seed round in Silicon Valley history.
Pay no attention to the ghost of Color Labs hovering in the corner of the conference room.
The name, according to Business Insider, “comes from the sound change makes and its ability to turn into a verb (‘Clink this!’).” When will someone launch a startup dedicated to finding better startup names?
It’s not clear exactly how Clinkle intends to tackle the payments space. It’s currently rolling out on college campuses (just like Facebook!), and it’ll likely launch on Android and iOS later this year. In advance of actual details, Mr. Duplan is making some very big promises. He told VentureBeat, for example: “To do this right, you have to create a product that is an order of magnitude better than a status quo for both merchants and consumers.” But wait–that’s not all!
“Clinkle is not just an incremental improvement upon what currently exists — it fundamentally surpasses what we’ve been able to accomplish. We have though deeply and thoughtfully about the transaction, but also about what happens before and after, and the interactions between buyers and sellers. We are doing this in a very different way than has been done before.”
What that means is anyone’s guess. It better be good if Mr. Duplan wants to compete with the slew of companies in the space, from Square to PayPal. But there are already believers: VentureBeat says Mr. Duplan talked several Stanford CS classmates into bailing for the startup, and participants in that massive seed round include big names like Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Intuit Inc., plus individuals like Peter Thiel and, for some reason, Ross Perot Jr.
Doesn’t anyone in Silicon Valley take a couple of months after graduation to clear their heads?