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Fintech company Mode has backtracked on an announcement detailing a partnership with a raft of major retailers including Boots and Ocado after they denied any involvement with the business.
The company has also now been warned it could face legal action over its initial claims.
London-listed Mode, which was founded by entrepreneur Jonathan Rowland, announced on Thursday that Boots and Ocado were among 40 retailers set to participate in its bitcoin cashback product.
Shares in Mode lifted by 15% after the update about the service which allows customers to use the digital currency for online purchases.
However, late on Thursday, Ocado, Boots and DIY retailer Homebase all denied involvement in the scheme despite being named.
In a new statement on Friday morning, Mode reaffirmed that it will launch the bitcoin cashback product next year with more than 40 retailers.
However, it added that “certain specific brands” referenced who had approved Mode to be used through intermediary affiliate platforms have “since withdrawn”.
Mr Rowland, who is chairman of the business, also tweeted to say he is “comfortable” with the announcement and that “some brands don’t want to be associated with crypto”.
We have clarified the statement and we are comfortable with what we released yesterday because it was accurate. Some brands don’t want to be associated to Crypto despite approving us through the affiliate process. We can’t control that unfortunately. https://t.co/eTrzigrHer
— Jonathan Rowland (@jrowland58) November 19, 2021
However, Boots and Ocado have confirmed to the PA news agency that they have both never had a direct partnership with Mode.
A Boots spokeswoman said: “We are reviewing our position with our legal team, so will not comment further at this stage.”
An Ocado spokesman said: “Ocado has never had any affiliation with Mode, or any involvements with their announcement from November 18.”
Mode shares plunged by 14.9% to 34.05p on Friday morning.