Since listing via a reverse takeover last October at 3 cents a share, fintech Douugh (ASX:DOU) has risen as high as 31 cents.

While it has retreated back to 7.1 cents, the company, known for its money management app, is still enjoying the ride at more than double its listing price. That’s impressive because despite listing in Australia, it hasn’t even launched a product here yet.

Douugh’s app was initially launched in the USA, but it is planning a launch in Australia soon.

Speaking with Stockhead, Douugh boss Andy Taylor admits not having a base in Australia may have been a turn-off for ASX investors.

“I think it’s always hard with Australian investors when you’re US focused,” he said.

“We’ve seen the need to fast track the launch here so investors can use the app and see the value.

“We’ve still got a lot more to build out and momentum to build but we’re seeing strong customer growth – that’s what investors want to see and what we’re delivering.”


The convenience factor

Taylor says his company has benefited from younger generations trying out investing for the first time since the pandemic struck.

And while such investors are attracted to fintech apps for convenience, the market is becoming saturated with them, ironically leading to inconvenience.

This is a problem he hopes his company can solve.

“We’re seen a big shift in younger generations wanting to more easily and accessibly build generational wealth through share and crypto trading,” Taylor said.

“For us, we’d like to think we’re building a responsible platform – how we educate and guide users to invest responsibly and for the long term is our key focus.

“And the convenience having it in an app integrated into bank accounts is what we’re looking for.

“I think Millennials, especially in Western markets, have so many different fintechs that do different things and their money spread across different apps. There’s a convenience factor coming through if it can all be in one integrated app they pay their salary into; then we stand a better chance to shifting balances across.”


Australia more mature than the US

Taylor told Stockhead he thinks Australia is a more mature market so far as banking is concerned even though the USA is ahead in some regards.

“It’s come down to the strength of the banks from a tech point of view,” he said.

“US banks have so much more legacy and technology stack is so archaic – whilst it’s a bigger market they’re still stuck on dealing with cheques and a cash society.”

“But on open banking they’re miles ahead over there – they went and built it rather than waiting for regulations.

“But Australia is quite tech savvy at a per capital level. We’re more affluent so therefore we’re more tech-centric.

“If you look at our customer base in America, you’ve got 150 million Americans paycheque to paycheque, nowhere near as affluent in Australia and we’re seeing that more than ever – customers are coming to our platform and need help.

“But I still think you’re not seeing banks that are purpose-led partly due to their models being about writing loans.

“We took this approach for us to be purpose-led we have to adapt a new model and that is services through subscription and partnering with infrastructure.

“That’s why we chose to launch in Australia second as we want to hit the ground running with a more mature product.


Not a neobank

One thing Taylor has never wanted to be is a so-called neobank.

He held this stance even when Australian neobanks were hot, raising capital from investors. But the sector lost a lot of wind when Xinja – arguably the most famous of all – collapsed.

While neobanks are far more regulated, most notably in having to be an ADI (Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution), Taylor says not being a neobank means more can be done for his company and its customers.

“It’s a bit of a turf war out there, it’s moving fast. We need to be agile and move quickly on building our product,” Taylor said.

“And that’s why we don’t want to be too distracted by becoming an ADI and taking on that infrastructure – it slows you down.”