In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.
At a glance
Founders: Shane Marsh and James McEniery
Can you tell us a bit about your business?
New Zealand was lagging the world in digital finance services, real time payments and features other markets enjoy that improve the ease of making payments and offer tools for better money management.
Dosh responded to the gap in the market by launching the Dosh app, New Zealand’s first digital wallet. An account can be opened in minutes after completing an in-app verification process. Users can add money to their Dosh account from their personal bank accounts and make instant payments by selecting a mobile number from their contacts list.
Via the Dosh app users can split bills, request to pay or send payments to their friends instantly. Payments can be made to any mobile number, whether the person has Dosh or not. If they open an account to receive the payment, the sender can earn a $5 referral bonus.
Instant notifications tell users when they have sent and received money, or made a purchase with their Dosh Visa Debit Card.
In October 2022 Dosh launched the Dosh Visa Debit Card, enabling users to spend funds from their Dosh account without going into debt. In Jan 2023 Dosh launched New Zealand’s best value card rewards programme, Doshback Rewards, earning users 1% cashback on their monthly eligible Dosh Visa Debit Card spend. Dosh has recently rolled out Stashes, sub-accounts that enable better money management for your regular payments e.g. rent, bills, rainy day fund.
Dosh aims to be the go-to financial super-app of choice for all New Zealanders, with a focus on GenZ.
What’s the backstory for your business idea?
After several years in Singapore, Kiwi cofounders Shane Marsh and James McEniery returned home in late 2020 to find local banking technology had not kept up with the rest of the world. “One thing I enjoyed from Singapore days was the ability to pay friends instantly, split bills and purchase goods at the touch of a button via the digital wallet app on my smartphone,” says James. “After years away, seeing how everyday Kiwis pay and receive money seemed outdated, slow, inconvenient & costly. Coming home, this really hit us as a gap in the market.” So, Shane and James launched Dosh in October 2021. The Kiwi fintech has since won two Canstar Innovation Excellence Awards and received numerous accolades. Highlights have been the record $5M raised at Seed Round in March 2022, and a partnership with Visa, with plenty more in the pipeline.
What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?
In the beginning, we reached out to our networks. We quickly found people were more than willing to sit down for a coffee and a chat, to introduce us to connections right across Aotearoa. This was huge for us in the early days, and before long we had established a trusted ‘inner circle’ – a small group of experts from industries ranging from advertising and creative to technical expertise and strategy.
We then focused on bringing together an advisory board, with whom we meet regularly. These sessions are invaluable in helping us keep our focus crystal clear, and providing guidance on some of the more challenging aspects along the way.
Books that stand out:
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
- Future Demand, by James Hurman
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki