Smart payments card startup Plastc files for bankruptcy having blown $9M from crowdsourcing campaign

Smart payments card startup Plastc Inc. has filed for bankruptcy after never managing to so much as deliver one card despite having raised $9 million in a crowdfunding campaign to do so.

The company, founded in 2013, was attempting to build the Plastc Card, a credit card shaped smart card that in conjunction with an app could store credit, debit, gift, loyalty and membership cards on a single device. The card, which never eventuated, was said to include a secure PIN lock, proximity alerts and a unique ‘Return Me’ mode that the company claimed would make it more secure than both traditional credit cards and other payment technologies.

Trouble at the company first arose in 2016 when some of those who had placed orders for the card through the crowdfunding campaign took to Reddit to complain about unmet delivery schedules. Company Chief Executive Officer Ryan Marquis offered refunds but urged those complaining to be patient. The company later the same year then blamed a typhoon in Asia for causing more delays, changing the shipping date to late Q4 2016 which they failed to meet as well.

In a statement on its site, Marquis is now blaming everyone else for his gross mismanagement of the company, suggesting that two attempts to raise funds from venture capital firms had fallen through at the last minute. Whether that is true or not anyone doing due diligence on the company via a simple Google search would have been running at a million miles an hour away from them.

“It’s been a long road with a lot of obstacles. The support of our amazing backers has been incredible, which makes this announcement even harder,” Marquis noted. “We were so incredibly ready for production in order to hit our deadlines but without capital it is impossible for us to move forward and we will not be able to fulfill any pre-orders.” The company made no specific mention of providing refunds either but given its current bankruptcy status it’s a given that all the money raised has gone.

Plastc is not the first company to struggle in the space, with Coin Inc. having been acquired by FitBit Inc. in 2016 in a talent and IP buy that saw the company’s core product, a card that did manage to ship but struggled with technical problems, subsequently shut down.

Image: Plastc.

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