Neo or not, all banks rely on debt: Why fintech Douugh wants to disrupt the system, not just challenge it

Neo or not, all banks rely on debt: Why fintech Douugh wants to disrupt the system, not just challenge it

Australia’s neobank scene has been heating up for the past year or so, with new digital banks racing to get up and running with viable alternatives to the big four.

But, Douugh is not one of them.

The new fintech venture from Aussie entrepreneur Andy Taylor, co-founder of peer-to-peer lending platform SocietyOne, is designed to upend the entire concept of banking.

It’s an AI-powered “financial wellness platform”, Taylor tells StartupSmart, helping users to pay off debts and manage their spending, all through a subscription service.

Taylor has been building Douugh for two-and-a-half years, and the product is already on the market in the US. It should be coming to Australia next year, he says.

Late last year, the startup secured a partnership with MasterCard, and it received strategic investment from Japanese financial services company Monex in June.

Now, Taylor is gearing up to list Douugh on the ASX.

Going public

Douugh is largely focused on exporting its technology, and going public could give it the cash injection it needs to grow as fast as possible.

Startups such as Xero and Afterpay that have listed on the ASX have seen significant rewards for early growth, Taylor notes.

“The ASX is really good at rewarding early-stage technology companies and supporting them,” he says.

“We need to raise deep capital and be able to raise it quite quickly once we’re proving this out.”

For Douugh, listing is also a way of securing a governance structure early on, and “giving our banking partners comfort”.

However, it’s also about being able to secure the right kind of funding, and the best deal possible.

“Quite frankly, we can get better terms going on the listed market than we would if we were getting private VC capital,” Taylor says.

“The size of the VC funds locally would struggle to keep up with our need for capital.”

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Source: Neo or not, all banks rely on debt: Why fintech Douugh wants to disrupt the system, not just challenge it – SmartCompany

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