People who invest money in startups on various crowdaming platforms know that all this is akin to playing the lottery. Some companies operate fairly, fulfilling their obligations and releasing the promised product, even if later than the planned time. Other – pure swindlers who collect money and leave without saying goodbye. Well and the third do not count own forces and opportunities and suffer the wreck of the ship of success of luck long before the command will see a coast. These third – a hybrid of the first and second option.
This is the type of startup Plastc, which in 2014 announced its intention to create a universal card that can accommodate digital copies of 20 user’s bank cards, the latter when paying for a product or service, the ability to switch between stored in Device memory card. This idea seemed interesting to thousands of people, and the startup in a short time was able to collect $ 9 million
Pre-orders for the goods made several tens of thousands of people who were ready to pay $ 155 for one smart card. Of course – these cards were supposed to support the NFC and EMV standards, they could be charged according to the “air”, without wires.
In total, according to the developers, they received 80,000 pre-orders. But soon after the funds were collected, problems began with the implementation of the project and compliance with plans. So, the cards were supposed to be sent to customers in 2016. The date of shipment was first transferred from April to August or September. Then – again moved, allegedly due to problems with the supplier of various components of their devices from Asia. The company did not name the exact date of deliveries, telling about plans to start sending devices at the end of the year.
A little later, the head of the company, Ryan Marquis, said that a small group of “elected” should receive cards in 2016, but everyone else can use their purchase no earlier than 2017.
The head of the company Ryan Marquis apologizes to his clients in a video message posted on Facebook
People who invested their money began to suspect something was amiss. “Stop lying to your loyal customers that this overdue product will be shipped,” said one of those who pre-ordered. After the news about the next transfer of the date of shipment, he and many other investors demanded to return the money. They were tired of waiting, and they angrily rejected the company’s proposals “first send the T-shirt, and then – the card.” Buyers, feeling themselves deceived, declared that they “are waiting for their cards, and not stupid t-shirts”.
This year, no one saw the cards. Well, now the company has declared bankruptcy with the rapid closure of its office. According to the management, this decision is caused by a lack of funds to implement the project plans. Employees of the company have already been dismissed, accordingly, customer support for any communication channels, including a telephone, has been discontinued.
The lack of funds, according to representatives of the Plastc team, is caused by the refusal of the two main investors to continue their work. It was expected that at the end of February this year the company will receive another $ 3.5 million to launch the production of smart cards. But investors stopped financing the start-up, and there was nothing for it to do but to close. Support was promised by another investor, who wanted to invest almost $ 7 million. But this option did not work either – the prospective partner also refused his plans.
The project team states that “everything” was ready to launch production of maps, but because of bad investors it was not possible. Also, the management says that the company “did everything possible” to make a smart card a reality. Of course, in this regard, the desire to disperse with reality: instead of the promised, the company did everything to upset and offend its customers. In addition, no one will return money to them, as the company is bankrupt. Well, who is there to blame for all this – people who made pre-order, this is of little concern.
By the way, Plastc is not the only startup that prepared smart bank cards. Now several other companies are implementing similar projects. But, probably, there is less confidence in them than before, so it will be more difficult to find financing. And anyway, do we all need such universal cards?