You probably have heard of the brands, Amazon, Google, Indeed, American Express and Visa. While these are household names, you probably haven't heard about one of their partners, Dosh. Dosh is the synergy of advertising and rewards/referral programs but in an incredibly efficient application. I sat down with founder Ryan Wuerch to learn more about how this is helping the everyday consumer.
LM: Let's start with a snapshot of you and the company.
RW: Dosh has a singular mission to drive billions of dollars to millions of people. We do this by incentivizing customers with cash when they shop at specific brands and businesses, allowing those brands to make better use of their advertising dollars. To do this, Dosh created a marketplace that connects millions of consumers and thousands of merchants to provide the right offer, at the right time, to the right customer.
This is my fourth company where I've led or been a part of the C-Suite team and the one of which I'm the most proud. I wanted to start a company that would positively impact millions of people's lives and to now see that we're already driving tens of millions of dollars in cash to consumers is incredibly rewarding.
LM: Tell me about your origin story. Why did you start this company?
RW: $200 billion dollars are spent annually in the U.S. advertising industry with more than 50% wasted and no known ROI. I knew if we could build a platform that moved the billions of dollars of radio, television, print and digital advertising directly to deserving people and connect them with the merchants who valued them, we could dramatically shift the current broken advertising model where consumers are used as a means to an end for companies versus the reason they exist. An extra $40 or $50 a month can make the difference between surviving and thriving. That is why I started Dosh.
LM: What is your favorite part about starting Dosh?
RW: It's the positive impact I see happening with Dosh users. Every day when I walk through the doors of our Austin headquarters, my eyes immediately go to the screen that shows how much cash we have delivered to consumers. That is my motivation and what excites me most about Dosh. And doing that with fellow employees who I respect, trust and love is the best possible feeling in the world.
LM: How did you think of the concept and what/who was your inspiration?
RW: I thought of the concept because I knew we could benefit everyday people while also turning the antiquated advertising model on its head and freeing merchants from inefficient spend. You look at this $200 billion dollar industry that no one is satisfied with and kind of wonder, "Why is that? Can I fix it?" That's why we have Dosh, and why we continue to work to improve and grow our company. From day one helping people was the single inspiration for our company and continues to fuel us.
LM: Describe the aesthetic/branding of the company.
RW: Nothing feels as good as the surprise of getting cash back. Our company brand is fun, upbeat and happy -- exactly the way you feel when you get unexpected (or expected) cash for just living your life.
LM: Talk to us a little bit about why you think Dosh has been successful.
RW: From the beginning, I knew the vision of this company could only come to reality if we had the best people in the world to help build it. For me, this meant attracting employees that come with great intelligence, experience, passion and a like-minded approach to the mission of improving people's lives. We are building a culture where every person elevates the quality of our team and continues to raise the bar for the company.
We created a two-sided marketplace where the central theme is delivering great value to merchant and consumer alike. The lure of the millions of subscribers that have already joined Dosh brings leading merchants to the app and in turn, as we have more brands offering cash to our subscribers, more consumers want to download the app.
Consumers love the fact that Dosh is easy and they can get cash automatically while shopping and dining. Just download the app, connect your credit card and shop. No clipping coupons or mailing in rebates. Keeping it simple but relevant is the secret to success with consumers.
LM: What is your take on the future of Dosh? What's next?
RW: We raised a $45M Series A round of funding in April 2018 and for us it is about continuing the advancement of technical capabilities and innovation in the Dosh platform, while adding thousands of new merchants to rapidly deliver cash back to consumers. With continued focus and relentless pursuit of our goal, it will just be a short time until we can literally move billions of dollars to millions of people.
While the company certainly has philanthropic albeit capitalist roots, personally, as a marketer representing brands, I find the attribution modeling side of the company even more fascinating.
Is it possible that Dosh has answered the query posed by brands since the beginning of digital media?
If that's not an ROI, I don't know what is.