By LAURA LOREK
Publisher of Silicon Hills News
Dosh, an app that gives consumers cash back for purchases, is disrupting the $200 billion advertising technology industry from Austin.
Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Dosh, said Austin is one of the best places to create a big consumer tech company.
And Dosh is quickly growing from 10 people a year ago to more than 70 today and by the end of the year 200, Wuerch said. And already, millions of consumers have downloaded the app, which has given back more than $19 million in cash to consumers since launching last year.
Wuerch, a serial entrepreneur, has built a billion-dollar company before. Before Dosh, he launched Solavei, which was acquired in late 2015. He also founded Motricity which went public in 2010, obtaining a market value that exceeded $1 billion.
In this episode of Ideas to Invoices, Wuerch discusses how he is going to give back more than $1 billion to consumers using the Dosh app.
In 2011, after Wuerch retired to Texas and traded walking his dog for walking his Longhorn on his ranch, he came up with the idea for Dosh. He saw three things converging on a global basis, the average household income was $48,000, social media changed consumer behavior and he saw an opportunity to create a compelling consumer product to disrupt the $200 billion advertising industry.
He joined forces with Ed Mock, who is Dosh’s co-founder and executive vice president of product and innovation, to create the cash back app.The app launched into beta May 1, 2017 and in less than a year it has become the largest subscriber base of people with card links to a cash back app, Wuerch said. It also has more than 100,000 brands, restaurants and stores including Sam’s Club, Forever 21, Denny’s and Cost Plus World Market as partners with Dosh, he said.
“We want this to be the one app that everybody wants,” Wuerch said.
Dosh, which is slang for cash, is available via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. To activate the app, a consumer inputs credit cards into the Dosh app and then they receive cash back for purchases made using those cards. The Dosh technology finds coupons and deals from the brand or merchant and automatically applies them to the consumer’s purchase. The app also has a feature called discovery that has special offers.
One of the most attractive parts of the Dosh app is the travel purchases. Instead of booking through online sites, Dosh lets consumers book hotels directly. They give 85 percent of the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price available to travel sites to the consumer.
For example, Wuerch spent a night at Le Meridien in San Francisco. The best price on online sites was $199 for the night. In the Dosh app, it was $199, but when he checked out the app put $67.03 in cash back into his Dosh wallet in his app where he could immediately move it to his bank account or transfer it to a charity.
Dosh is tied to the same credit card that a consumer already uses so they still get their loyalty rewards from the credit card issuer. What Dosh is giving back is from the brand or merchant.
By October, Dosh had 20,000 people card linked into the app. It took until Dec. 1st to give the first $1 million back to customers. But in December, the app hit a viral momentum and the app became the number one shopping app in Apple and number four in Google.
“We now have approximately six million people downloading it,” he said.
And 1.1 million have linked their cards and it is growing significantly every single day, he said. To date, Dosh has given more than $19 million in cash back to consumers, Wuerch said.
“This is what we all live for internally,” he said.
“We do not sleep in this company until we move the first billion dollars to millions of people,” he said. And he thinks the opportunity to do that is in the next two years.
Dosh has raised $27 million to date and soon expects to announce a new round of funding, Wuerch said.
That investment in technology has set the company apart from its competitors, Wuerch said. There are lots of free cash back apps and websites but many often require consumers to mail in receipts or take additional steps. Dosh works seamlessly behind the scenes, Wuerch said.
Dosh has no paid acquisition for consumers, Wuerch said. It doesn’t spend money on ads, he said.
“It’s all happened through word of mouth,” he said.
Originally, Dosh thought the target market for the app would be people 28 to 48, but they got it wrong. No matter how young or old and how much money they have, everyone wants to keep more money in their pocket, Wuerch said.
“We had it totally wrong. It’s everyone that we’re seeing,” Wuerch said.
For more discussion about Dosh and Wuerch, please listen to the entire podcast. And please rate and review Ideas to Invoices on iTunes.