Super-secretive startup Clinkle hasn’t had a lot to say about what it’s up to, but it’s announcing a big hire today that it no doubt hopes will propel it forward in the mobile payments market. As the company prepares for public launch next year, Clinkle has brought on former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy as its COO.
McCarthy has spent the last few years as an executive advisor to Technology Crossover Ventures, and has served on the boards of a number of Silicon Valley companies, including Chegg, Eventbrite, Wealthfront, and Pandora. But he’s best known as the longtime CFO at Netflix, where he saw the company post pretty significant growth between 1999 and 2010.
After spending so many years at a public company — Netflix had its IPO in 2003 — it’s interesting to see McCarthy join a startup full-time. But he had said as far back as 2010, when he left the subscription video rental service, that he wanted to try his hand at running a company.
Clinkle will give him that chance, and he’ll have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor, before the company has even publicly launched. While it has raised $25 million in seed funding from a large group of investors to revolutionize the payments space, Clinkle has yet to even make its product available to consumers. Instead, it has slowly rolled out its payments app to U.S. college kinds who have signed up through a wait list.
That said, we do know a fair amount about the product, through discussions with beta testers and a publicly posted YouTube video and Tumblr page that showed how the app worked.
It seems that Clinkle is meant to replace the physical wallet with a mobile, digital wallet that includes all a user’s financial accounts and enables them to make payments without swiping a credit or debit card. The product is also designed to allow users to easily make payments between each other with a limited amount of friction.
The company was founded by a bunch of Stanford students, and has been in stealth mode since 2011. But that will soon change: While the number of Clinkle users is still limited, the company expects to make the product available in 2014.
Now with more than 50 employees, Clinkle will likely lean on McCarthy’s financial and operations experience to move it forward after raising a huge amount of seed funding and steadily growing its work force. Investors in the company include Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Intel Capital, Intuit, Peter Thiel, Diane Greene, Jim Breyer, Marc Benioff, Owen Van Natta, Andrew Viterbi, Bob Joss, Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Dick Fredericks, Gordon Eubanks, Mehran Sahami, Peter Crisp, Regis McKenna, and Ross Perot, Jr.