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"However, from the top, it was built to feel like a university startup built out of a dorm room.

I think it envied what Facebook had become, and wanted to emulate what they had done." attracted 100,000 UK students within six months of going live, according to Nardone.

Fling chat-44Fling chat-84

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 about £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.

Nardone shouted and swore at Osmond before squaring up to him as if he was about to do something more, two former employees said.

At this point, Nardone's Italian father, Remo Nardone — a man in his 80s and Fling's biggest investor — stepped in to try to cool the situation down, one of the employees said. He swore at his father before hurling a Pret a Manger baguette in his direction.

It narrowly missed and collided with a glass window above his head.

The event was described to Business Insider by four former employees.In person, Nardone was hyper, ambitious, and volatile, our sources said.He had the ability to charm investors and would-be employees, but several former staff said they ended up scared of him, citing his unpredictable moods and confrontational approach as major issues.But the entrepreneur said he had a flash of inspiration for Fling while on a flight to Hong Kong in January 2014, which ultimately led to the demise of the platform."While I was staring at the flightpath map on my seat screen I had one of those insane moments where my fingers couldn't type my idea fast enough on Notes," he told Tech Crunch. What if you could 'fling' a private message out to the world, and literally see it fly and land all over a world map – much like the one I was looking at on my British Airways seat screen."We were pretty chuffed because we were being told 'this is all organic' or 'I've only spent a few hundred pounds on a few Facebook ads' and the numbers were shooting up like a thousand [users] every 10 minutes." It later turned out that considerable sums of money had been spent on social media marketing campaigns in order to get these users, according to three former employees and documents submitted to Companies House.

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