Existing shareholders return to accelerate growth of Kiwi-owned digital wallet
Dosh, New Zealand’s first digital wallet, has raised $5 million in a seed funding round, pushing up its valuation and allowing the Kiwi fintech start-up to accelerate growth and technical capacity in 2022.
The raise, believed to be a New Zealand record for a seed investment round, will help fund further product innovation and development and enable the company to advance closer to their vision of giving Kiwis greater financial freedom, control of and access to their money, 24/7.
The oversubscribed funding round was led by existing investors in Dosh. Legal firm Kindrick Partners supported Dosh on the fund-raising round.
The investor interest reflects trends offshore where fintech has dominated new Venture Capital investment. According to research firm CB Insights, one in five VC investment dollars in 2021 went to fintech. CB Insights estimates digital wallet fintech sector to be a $1tn global industry today, and is forecast to grow to $7tn by 2027.
Dosh co-founder Shane Marsh says, “The significant Dosh raise reflects the material opportunity in New Zealand for a locally grown, digitally focused competitor in the banking services market. We believe there is a gap in the market for Dosh to provide services that give Kiwis greater freedom and control over their money.”
Dosh is the brainchild of returning expat Kiwis Shane Marsh and James McEniery. The pair formed MCA Investments to create and launch the digital wallet app after witnessing a global rise in the use of instant payment applications, particularly in their previous offshore base of Singapore, where both were prolific digital wallet users.
Dosh is an app on your smartphone enabling instant payments between friends and to businesses. Money moves instantly, anytime, anywhere, meaning users no longer need to wait until Monday for funds to clear. Dosh enables users to instantly request payments, split out costs and pay people back at the touch of a button on their phone and has been well-received by Kiwis the length of the country.
“It’s simple, safe and instant,’ says McEniery. ‘Digital wallet apps are how people transact across Asia and the world. Setting up online banking payees and waiting for funds to clear is antiquated to the rest of the world. We quickly became accustomed to the convenience of these applications abroad, and upon our return were taken aback to find New Zealand so far behind in this area.”
Strong investor interest
In its pre-seed round Dosh secured funding of $1 million, which largely went to building the Dosh product and ensuring that Dosh was compliant with New Zealand regulations.
The latest round of funding will enable Dosh to invest in further developments including a soon-to-be-announced global partnership which will change the game entirely for Dosh customers. Dosh has ambitions to become the one-stop financial super app for all Kiwis, with plans to integrate further capabilities.
McEniery believes the successful Seed round, which closed in March, reflects Kiwis’ desire for a simpler, safer and faster way to make every day financial transactions between friends and to businesses. Most of the raise came from a private Kiwi investor who shares the same vision and belief of the Dosh founders and for the future of payments in New Zealand.
“The fact this round was oversubscribed gives us enormous motivation moving forward, and it also validates our business model. Kiwis want Dosh, and we’re giving it to them,” he says.
Digital wallets key driver of e-commerce
Shane Marsh says the uptake of Dosh reflects a global shift towards digital wallets. “We have been thrilled with high levels of customer uptake and engagement with Dosh, particularly as the technology is new to many here in New Zealand.
“All indications from the market-leading Global Payments Report 2022 by WorldPay point to digital wallets being a key driver in e-commerce payment growth. While New Zealand adoption is lagging behind the rest of the world, digital wallet payments are expected to see significant growth here in the future, due to advanced security and superior ease of use.
“At Dosh we are proud to be leading this change with our launch of New Zealand’s first digital wallet in 2021. Payments is just the beginning for Dosh; we have a big year of new developments planned and are excited to take Kiwis on the journey with us.”