Listed neobank and AI-driven wealth management app company Douugh (ASX: DOU) is set to finally launch in the Australian market where it was founded, following the completion of a $1.5 million acquisition of share trading app Goodments.
On 9 April the group announced it had the necessary shareholder approval threshold to take over Goodments, whose founder and CEO Tom Culver is now Douugh's new global head of wealth.
This cleared the way for Douugh to acquire the company as planned today, in a move management expects will further accelerate development pathways and customer growth both in the US and in Australia.
Goodments will be relaunched with commission-free trading in US stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs), before being consolidated into the Douugh app once launched in partnership with banking-as-a-service partner RAB.
"In the current climate, many Millennials and Gen Z's are gravitating in record numbers to the sharemarket to help them grow their savings and build wealth," says Douugh founder, CEO and Australia's Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs lister Andy Taylor.
"Goodments are currently offering their more than 13,000 customers access to a range of fractionalised US stocks like Tesla, Virgin Galactic, Nike, Square and Apple, as well as high-performing companies like Ark Invest, Vanguard and Blackrock."
Taylor notes the fact Douugh was given a registered investment advisor (RIA) licence in the US and that Goodments has an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) means the group will be able to roll out what are known as 'wealth jars'.
"With this feature we can target customers in the investment space who are currently using platforms like Betterment, Acorns and Stash with a holistic solution for their money management, focused on growing automated long-term wealth," he says.
"This should result in larger average deposit balances being received and ultimately a higher penetration of customers paying in their salaries, which is our north star metric."
In the March quarter the Douugh platform total deposits reached more than $2.7 million in the US, although the average deposit balance is just under $250 per account.
"We continue to build strong momentum in key growth metrics since our November launch and have worked hard to optimise onboarding and activation rates," Taylor said earlier this month.
"Like all card issuers in the US, we have not been immune from the impacts of the pandemic and in March we saw plastic card manufacturing become disrupted, resulting in us being unable to secure supply of new plastic card inventory.
"Subsequently we have reacted quickly by slowing down customer acquisition and fast-tracking the launch of instant virtual card issuing with Mastercard."
DOU shares were up 4.2 per cent at $0.172 each at 10:50am AEST, although they are still well off their $0.35 level in mid-November.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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