Financial platform Douugh will finally make its long-awaited ASX listing this week in a reverse takeover of suspended telco Ziptel.
The listing is the latest twist and turn for the fintech, which in recent months raised $750,000 from equity crowdfunding as part of a $6 million series A round ahead of the float.
Douugh doesn’t have a banking licence, instead partnering with US-based Choice Bank, and locally, Regional Australia Bank, to offer financial products in a software-as-a-service model.
While the ASX has yet to confirm a date, the company’s outspoken founder and CEO Andy Taylor told the AFR on Monday that the listing was this week.
Taylor’s pitch for Douugh argues that even the neobank model is “fundamentally flawed”.
He considers Douugh a “financial wellness platform” and the roll out of traditional banking products is at the back of the queue in his plans.
“Most of the well-known neobanks are just rebuilding the same old banks in digital form – selling traditional products competing on price, reliant upon getting their customers into debt to turn a profit while outsourcing their software development,” he said.
“This is an incredibly capital-heavy approach and I’m not sure, in the end, how ‘neo’ it really is or whether it resonates with the Millennial and Gen Z target market. Our research shows that money management is the fundamental problem that needs solving.”
Taylor wants to offer a government-insured bank account and debit card mimicking a neobank “without the high cost structure, clunky business model and risk profile of becoming a licensed bank”.
Douugh has been in beta in the US since mid-2019 and preparing for its full market launch in the coming weeks. In a partnership with Mastercard, it offers a debit card. It has yet to launch in Australia
“We will use our IPO funds to scale up our US customer base and continue to invest heavily in R&D to improve our AI-driven banking platform,” Taylor said.
“We are laser focused on helping people better manage their money, with our long-term goal to become a fully autonomous financial control centre for our customers, which will eventually see us expand into SME banking.”