Fast CEO Domm Holland. Art by Mike Sullivan
April 6, 2022 6:08 AM PDT

On Aug. 3 last year, after doing a round of victory donuts on a street near Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, Fla., Domm Holland stepped out of the passenger seat of a NASCAR racing pickup truck. The black Chevy Silverado was branded with the name of the startup he was leading: Fast, a developer of software that online stores could use to help shoppers pay with one click. Holland put on a pink blazer and walked to a nearby stage to meet Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Together they announced to Fast’s employees and members of the local press that Silicon Valley’s hottest startup had chosen the city as its East Coast hub. The event ended with a performance by a Jet Ski rider doing backflips in the water below.

The press conference was part of a multi-day corporate retreat for which the San Francisco–based startup flew in dozens of employees. During a recruiting event the day after Holland’s grand entrance, Tampa locals spoke with employees about career opportunities at the startup, which was supposedly growing in leaps and bounds.

But it was all for show. Within weeks, talk died down internally about the planned hiring in Tampa. While Fast hired more than 30 people in the month following the retreat, none of them were based in Tampa, a person familiar with the matter said. And on Tuesday, eight months after the splashy event, the startup suddenly shut down, stunning its roughly 450 employees. Until a few days ago, many of them had no inkling the business had been in dire shape for a long time.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
The Weekend Crypto Startups
Truth or Consequences: Would You Take an AI-Powered Polygraph Test to Prove You Hadn't Cheated on a Spouse?
Truth or Consequences: Would You Take an AI-Powered Polygraph Test to Prove You Hadn't Cheated on a Spouse?
Hi, welcome to your Weekend! Even before the Supreme Court’s earth-shaking rulings this week that struck down states’ gun restrictions and ended women's right to an abortion, Americans were losing faith in the highest court in the land. On Thursday, Gallup reported that trust in the Supreme Court has never been lower, with only 25% of Americans responding that they had a great deal of...
Latest Briefs
Congressional Report Says Robinhood Understated Liquidity Problems During Meme Stock Craze
Zendesk Agrees to $10.2 billion Buyout Months After Rejecting Higher Bid
Meta Plans To Shut Down CrowdTangle Tool
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Jerry Seinfeld (left) and Ted Sarandos. Photo by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Media/Telecom Amazon
A Netflix Slump Tests Sarandos’ Talent Savvy
In 2019, when comedian Mike Myers was pitching a new comedy series to Netflix, program executives at the company were skeptical.
Crypto Markets
Tech’s Worst-Timed Deals: Six Acquisitions That Have Not Improved With Age
As tech valuations collapse to a fraction of where they were last year, executives likely have a few regrets.
Amazon's logo on a tent at Cannes this week. Photo by Reuters.
Amazon’s Ad Staffers Flee Amid Complaints of Bloat, Bureaucracy
In the years immediately before Covid-19 sidelined the global advertising festival in Cannes, Amazon kept a low-key presence at the annual gathering of ad and tech people.
Signage at VidCon 2016. Photo by Shutterstock
VidCon Returns as Chill Falls on Creator Economy
VidCon, the annual gathering of social media creators, fans and industry representatives, will descend on Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday for the first time since 2019.
Art by Clark Miller
Scene and Heard Crypto Culture
‘The Last Great Party’: With Crypto Winter Coming, NFT Lovers Try to Stave Off Reality
Ten days before NFT.NYC began last Monday in New York, I interviewed the conference’s founder, Jodee Rich, about how the crypto market’s collapse would impact this year’s gathering.
Opinion Media/Telecom
The Question Plaguing Connected TV: Who’s Watching?
PARQOR is part of The Information’s newsletter network. To receive it in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, sign up here .