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Describing the concept behind Unii to Tech City News on a speedboat in the River Thames in October 2014, which is where Tech City News got entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, Nardone said: "is a social network made exclusively for students in UK higher education and it allows students to better engage with individuals and societies at their university or college." The platform included a jobs board, opinion polling, accommodation matching, society pages, and student offers.Nardone secured approximately £1.5 million from his father to help him build and launch Unii.com, according to a former employee, who added that he went on to receive a total of around £5 million from his father for and Fling. "The culture of the company was great, the team was a good mix," an ex-employee said.His father is the multimillionaire founder of Enotria Winecellars, a successful wine business that distributes wine and spirits to bars and restaurants around the UK."Marco felt pressure to live up to his father," said a former Fling employee.The atmosphere was tense and Nardone was furious, three former employees said, because his COO, Emerson Osmond, had gone behind his back.Specifically, he was angry because 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.The new HQ was roughly 15 minutes walk from his riverside penthouse apartment at Distillery Wharf.
Built by a London startup called Unii, Fling allowed people to send photos and videos to strangers around the world.
Several of them said they believed Nardone's behaviour changed significantly during Fling's lifetime, while others told stories of mysterious girls around the office and wild party weekends. After failing to secure the funding it needed to continue, Fling quietly shut down in August 2016, based on bankruptcy administration documents submitted to Companies House by Unii Limited.
Nardone told Business Insider he refutes what his former colleagues have told us, but he declined to comment further.
The app — built by up to 50 staff and backed by a network of wealthy individuals from the UK, Italy, and Asia — 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.
In person, Nardone was hyper, ambitious, and volatile, our sources said.