Fling CEO Marco Nardone. In early Julytemperatures were rising flnig the boardroom on the top floor of a storey fling co haukipudas block in Fling co haukipudas, West London. Marco Nardone, the year-old CEO and founder of social media app Fling, had called an emergency meeting the day after his app was removed from the App Store by Apple for being too similar to the notorious Chatroulette platform.
The atmosphere was tense and Nardone was furious, three former employees said, because his COO, Emerson Osmond, had gone behind his back. Haukipuddas, he was angry fling co haukipudas Osmond had told Nardone's personal assistant not to order tents for the office that would allow staff to sleep by their desks and work around the clock to get Fling back onto the App Store, a former employee told Business Insider.
Nardone shouted and swore at Osmond before squaring up haukipudax him as if he was about to do something more, said two former employees. At this point, Nardone's Italian father, Remo Nardone — a man in his eighties and Fling's biggest investor — stepped in to try and cool the situation down, one of the employees said. But his son didn't react well. He swore at his father before hurling a partially-open Pret a Fling co haukipudas baguette in his direction.
The event was described to Business Insider by four former employees. Built by a London startup called Unii, Fling allowed people to send photos and videos fling co haukipudas strangers around the world. The random recipients could then chat and reply to the sender. The app also showed "Flingers" a map of where their Flings had landed. At its peak, Fling claimed to have 4 million users on its app, who sent a total of 50 billion messages. However, the revenue-free company burnt through the last of its millions in Augustaccording to documents produced by bankruptcy administrators.
Flinng app — built by up to 50 staff backed by a network of wealthy individuals from the UK, Italy, and Flung — struggled to retain users. Mismanagement at the top of the company was a major issue, according to nine former employees that Business Insider has spoken to over the last three months. Several of them said they believed Nardone's behaviour changed fling co haukipudas during Fling co haukipudas lifetime, while others told stories of mysterious girls around the office and wild party weekends.
But more cco that later. After failing to secure the funding it needed to continue, Fling quietly shut down in Augustbased on bankruptcy administration documents submitted to Companies House by Unii Limited. Nardone told Business Insider hauikpudas refutes what his former colleagues have told us, but he declined to comment further. InNardone set out to build a fling co haukipudas network for students called Unii from an office on Berkeley Street in London.
That's the Berkeley Street that adjoins the legendary Berkeley Square in Mayfair, where a nightingale once sang for Vera Lynn. It's the capital's most expensive neighbourhood. His father is the multimillionaire founder of Enotria Winecellars, a successful wine business that distributes wine and to bars and restaurants around the UK. In person, Nardone was hyper, ambitious, and volatile, our sources said.
He had the ability to charm investors and would-be employees, but several former staff said they ended up scared of him, citing his unpredictable moods and confrontational approach as major issues. Describing the concept behind Unii to Tech City News on a speedboat in the River Thames in Octoberwhich is where Tech City News got entrepreneurs to pitch haukipjdas ideas, Nardone said: Things started off relatively well at Unii. I think it envied what Facebook had become, and wanted to emulate what they had done.
But the entrepreneur said he had a flash of inspiration for Fling while on a flight to Hong Kong in Januarywhich ultimately led to the demise of the Unii. What if you could 'fling' a private message out to the world, and literally see it fly and land all over a world map — much like the one I was looking at on my British Airways seat screen. By the time we landed I had already prototyped the designs for Fling. Marco Nardone in London in October When Nardone returned to London, he pulled his engineers off the original Unii idea.
He assigned them to build fling co haukipudas Fling app and moved them into a new, top-floor office in Hammersmith — fling co haukipudas from Mayfair — that had the ability to accommodate more staff. The new HQ was roughly 15 minutes walk from fling co haukipudas riverside penthouse apartment at Distillery Wharf. Fling was fljng in less than four months between March and July When Nardone felt it was ready, he took it upon himself to set it live in the App Store in July without consulting other people fling co haukipudas the company.
Almost immediately after the launch there were thousands of people signing up to Fling on a daily basis, according to a former employee. Fling's tech team wasn't anticipating the initial strain on the company's servers and Fling's infrastructure buckled. He was likening himself to Evan Spiegel, the Fling co haukipudas guy, and all this bullshit.
A photo that Marco Nardone uploaded onto Fling. Within weeks of launching, people were using the fling co haukipudas to send nude photos and sexual material to strangers. In an early review of the app in JulyTechCrunch's Natasha Lomas wrote: Oc later updated her story to say: In Septemberthree months after the app was released, a moderation team was hired in the Philippines to vet photos on the platform. Nardone kicked other male users off the platform who posted inappropriate photos fling co haukipudas themselves on the app.
He would then boost himself to everybody on the [Fling] database. Nardone would regularly walk around the office with his shirt off, according to multiple former employees. As Nardone clamped down on male nudity, he allowed female users to "pretty much do what they wanted and actively encouraged it as well by boosting pretty girls and stuff like that," said a former employee. It was just a spiral. Fling would fling co haukipudas such a good app if it weren't for the dick pics.
In June Fling was pulled from the App Store by Apple with no warning or notice. Apple hated the fact that Fling was a randomised messaging filng that was similar in many respects to the notorious Chatrouletteaccording to a former employee.
Inside the crash of Fling, the London startup whose founder partied in Ibiza while his company burned through $21 million
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