Dosh is an app that gives its customers cash back for living their normal lives and making purchases. It’s both an iOS and Android app, and it’s currently in public beta and is named after a European term for money that has picked up as a slang term for cash in America. It was founded by CEO Ryan Wuerch and includes as a member of its team other individuals such as Edward Katzin, who is currently the Chief Information Officer and a board member of Dosh. Katzin says that Dosh fills a niche that he envisioned in 2002 when he made the commitment to himself that by 2020, he would be working for a company that changed how commerce is done, created financial inclusion for billions, and put people front and center. It’s been listed as one of Built in Austin’s 50 Startups to watch in 2018, and the AustinInno division of AmericanInno’s 18 Tech Startups to Watch in 2018.
Dosh is currently in the latest of many seed rounds of funding, with the lead investor from the December 7th, 2017 round being Goodwater Capital. In Dosh’s six rounds of funding so far, they have earned $16.8 million dollars, which they hope to use to reach out to more companies and expand their engineering team. Thanks to the developments they have made so far, Dosh executives say they are ready to pursue a Series-A funding round in the first quarter of 2018.
A History of Ryan Wuerch
Prior to founding Dosh, Wuerch founded and worked with several other organizations. His first was Motricity, which he founded in 2001. As the CEO and a chairman of Motricity, Wuerch with mobile data providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Reliance (India) and XL (Indonesia). From there, he went on to found Solavei, a contract-free mobile service provider that allowed users to get their monthly service for free through referrals. Unfortunately, Solavei filed for bankruptcy in 2011, citing the fact that it had ended up paying out more to customers than they had expected to. Whether Solavei was a multi-level marketing or social business is still not clear. He was also a Board of Directors at the Miss America organization for ten years.
As the CEO of Dosh, Wuerch hopes that Dosh becomes a billion-dollar household name, similar to companies also launched in Austin, such as Whole Foods Market Inc., and Dell Technologies Inc. He says that he has learned from his mistakes as the CEO of Solavei, and won’t make the same mistakes with Dosh. Currently, Dosh has cash back enabled at hotels (Hyatt, Best Western, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and others), restaurants (Wendy’s, Which Wich, Burger King) and many other shopping locations, for a total of over 100,000 participating businesses. It’s one of the many startups that aims to make life easier for everyone and to connect customers to savings. One customer even earned $440 in cash back from a three-night hotel reservation in New York.
Dosh doesn’t just benefit the customers who get cash back. It offers companies access to analytics, allowing them to study trends and also target specific users with specific campaigns. Companies can target consumers who have already redeemed deals from their company or similar companies with similar offers from their own company, making it more likely for the customer to purchase from their company due to the incentive, and making them more money than if they simply competed with similar companies without providing special deals. Dosh also benefits companies by encouraging customers to share the amount of money that they received through Dosh with friends through social media, which promotes brand awareness and may make a customer think of shopping at a brand that they wouldn’t immediately think of due to the influence of friends and family.
Dosh connects to major credit card companies and immediately provides cash back to the customers through either a bank account or a PayPal account. Dosh’s cash back feature is fast, secure, and non-gimmicky. Wuerch says that the function of Dosh was built on Pavlov’s theory of stimulus-response, specifically relating to the customers’ response to being given money for being loyal to the brands that offer cash back through Dosh.