Why the ‘anti-woke’ bank startup GloriFi failed so quickly

0
32


Owens, a conservative commentator and activist who hosts an eponymous political for the Daily Wire, made bold predictions about the project’s long-term viability on Twitter in October, just a month after the app initially launched. 

“We are at the beginning of the conservative economy. You guys will all be hearing about GLORIFI soon. It will overtake Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase & #Paypal very quickly,” Owens tweeted to her 3.2 million followers on Oct. 8.

Owens also posted an eight-minute video on Instagram the same day urging followers to delete their PayPal accounts and move their money to GloriFi. “I’m 1000 percent in. I moved my money, I made sure it worked, I’m using the card,” Owens said to her 4.5 million IG followers in the video. 

On Monday, GloriFi’s chief marketing and communications officer Cathy Landtroop informed the company’s employees that a funding source crucial to the startup’s near-term survival had fallen through, rendering the firm insolvent. Landtroop stated that the company’s finances had been hamstrung due to “financial challenges related to startup mistakes, the failing economy, [and] reputational attacks.”

Signs of trouble at GloriFi surfaced soon after its September app launch. Despite a roster of deep-pocketed financial backers like hedgefund billionaire Ken Griffin and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, GloriFi was nearly bankrupt within months of launching, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Missed launch dates, mass layoffs, bungled product rollouts preceded the short-lived company’s demise. Per the Wall Street Journal’s report, employees alleged that the company’s chief executive, Toby Neugebauer, drank on the job and had an explosive temper. GloriFi’s operations ran out of Neugebauer’s 16,000 square-foot home in Dallas, which added distractions, according to the Journal. 

After the Journal reported the employees’ allegations in October, Neugebauer stepped down from CEO to serve as the company’s executive chairman. 
 Owens has not yet posted on social media about the company’s implosion and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.