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Don't Let Trips to Ibiza Derail Your Multimillion-Dollar App

The cautionary tale of Fling, thwarted in part by a journey to an Avicii concert.
Photo of Avicii via Wikimedia Commons

Mike Posner took a pill in Ibiza to show Avicii he was cool, but one start-up founder's love for the recently retired DJ in part cost him funds for his multi-million-dollar social media app.

Business Insider earlier this week told the cautionary tale of Fling, a racy photo-and video-messaging app likened to Chatroulette, and its young owner, Londoner Marco Nardone. According to the investigation, Nardone received about $6.25 million (approximately £5 million) from his father—a multimillionaire wine distributor— to fund the project, and an additional $21 million from investors. However, within a span of three years, he spent it all through reckless consumption and too much partying.

One of his most notorious exploits was a trip to Ibiza with two of his staff members while the rest of the company essentially rebuilt a new app after it was removed from the Apple store for being sexually explicit. According to a former employee, while his staff were pulling an all-nighter back at the Fling HQ in London, Nardone and crew reportedly stayed in a suite at Ushuaïa and partied at its eponymous club.

"[It was] full on, full-scale, Avicii partying, which is well documented," the source said. An screenshot of an Instagram photo by Nardone (his profile has since been made private) shows him with friends, captioned, "I mean Avicii WAS there in the background before the lights went all epileptic af (sic)." Luxury lodging, travel, and meals were all paid with company funds. A source told BI that Nardone's mood became "increasingly erratic" around that time.

After running out of funds, Fling shut down last summer.