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Layoffs at stealth payment startup Clinkle

December 9, 2013: 12:37 PM ET

Clinkle still wants to kill Square. But first it needs to get its own house in order.

wallet imageFORTUNE -- Clinkle, a stealthy mobile payment startup that recently raised the largest seed financing round in history, today has completed an internal reorganization. Or, in other words, layoffs.

Fortune has learned that the San Francisco-based company has issued pink slips to 16 employees, or just around 25% of its staff. No word yet on any names except that most of the moves come within the business, rather than engineering, ranks. Clinkle had originally planned to disclose the layoffs last week in conjunction with an announcement about new high-profile hires, but apparently didn't feel it had its ducks in a row yet.

All of this comes two months after Clinkle hired former Netflix (NFLX) CFO Barry McCarthy as its chief operating officer, to help 22 year-old founder Lucas Duplan run the business. McCarthy says that the layoffs should not come as a surprise, nor do they reflect troubles within the company.

"I knew coming in that I'd be spending the bulk of my time building the executive team, and that the team would build out its own groups," McCarthy says. "Some young people are leaving, and some very seasoned executives are joining. It's reasonable to assume that these execs wouldn't be joining if something was chronically wrong or broken."

McCarthy adds that Clinkle plans to expand headcount "aggressively" on a net basis, and that its product will be publicly available on college campuses in Q1.

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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