Douugh records strong start in first three months since ASX listing

Douugh ASX DOU AI app financial
Douugh chief executive officer Andy Taylor said the company’s strategy was to become a complete financial wellness platform.

Artificial-intelligence-driven technology company Douugh (ASX: DOU) has reported strong customer and transactional growth in the first three months since hitting the ASX boards in November.

The financial wellness app provider has experienced consistent monthly growth across key metrics, with its iOS app downloaded and installed over 29,000 times after listing via a reverse takeover of Australian telco ZipTel.

A total 8,001 customers have been onboarded to date, representing a consolidated monthly growth rate (CMGR) of 364% over its first quarter of business.

Douugh said its approved customer acquisition run rate – where customers are issued a bank account and credit card insured by US-based Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – is expected to increase as marketing and onboard funnels are optimised, and new features such as virtual “wealth jars” and Buy Now Pay Later are added to the app.

The company received its maiden platform interchange revenues from customer debit card transactions on a total spend of approximately $362,000 (or 92% CMGR) and processed approximately $1.03 million in deposits (93% CMGR).

With $16.02 million in the bank at the end of the December quarter, Douugh plans to accelerate further growth through prioritised product development based on customer feedback and the evolution of AI-driven automation.

A busy three months

Douugh founder and chief executive officer Andy Taylor has had a busy three months since listing, during which time his company has gained significant market traction and the achievement of first revenues.

“We have been focused on testing and optimising our digital media acquisition channels as well as refining our onboarding process,” he said.

“We have developed a robust and fully-automated fraud scoring matrix and work has begun on the development of an Android version of our app which should be ready to launch by year end.”

Marketing spend

Mr Taylor said customer growth was currently tied to marketing spend, which is expected to ramp up as word-of-mouth builds and increases the rate of organic acquisitions.

“As we increase our acquisition spend, our focus will continue to be on increasing the sign-up conversion rate and lowering the overall customer acquisition cost,” he said.

“We plan to introduce an integrated member-to-member program providing a monetary incentive for current users to invite new customers to the platform, and we will couple this with the onboarding of affiliate marketing partners, such as social media and YouTube influencers, to expand our distribution channels.”

In an effort to shorten the time between a new customer signing up and becoming a fully-active member, Douugh will roll out a digital initiative in partnership with Mastercard and Apple to instantly provide a virtual debit card into a user’s Apple wallet on sign-up.

It is also working with online payment processing platform Stripe to facilitate instant debit card funding for new customers.

Well-timed arrival

Douugh’s arrival on the finance scene appears to have been well-timed amidst an accelerated shift to digital banking brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Taylor said the lasting effects of the pandemic had created a “favourable landscape” for the company, which he believes offers a more comprehensive service than its competitors.

“Douugh is fundamentally different from other standalone budgeting, banking and investment apps as we are looking to become a complete financial wellness platform incorporating all the elements needed for customers to better manage and grow their money,” he said.

“We believe we are unique in bringing these features together into a single bank account and applying artificial intelligence to guide our customers to adopt better behaviours such as spending wisely, saving more and building wealth.”

Mr Taylor said Douugh’s exposure to the US share market in a “responsible way” through managed portfolios would offer millennial and Gen Z customers an opportunity to participate in a platform purpose-built “for savers, not traders”.

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