Following the recent acquisition of Austin, Texas based Dosh, I sat down with our co-founder and CEO, Lynne Laube, to talk about why this deal was so important - not only for Cardlytics and its future vision - but for our advertisers, consumers, and financial services partners.
Congratulations on officially closing Cardlytics’ first acquisition in its 13-year history! I know you’ve been considering M&A opportunities for a while now. What made you decide to pull the trigger with Dosh?
LYNNE: Our goal for any acquisition is to find a company who truly complements our existing business and supports the transformational journey we are on. Dosh accomplishes that. While we have strong partnerships with large traditional banks, their modern platform can quickly integrate with neo-banks, fintechs, and other consumer-facing organizations. This gives them a solid presence amongst millennials and younger consumers, as evidenced by their partnership with Venmo and others. Their direct-to-consumer app also allows us to quickly understand what drives consumer engagement so we can further increase returns for our advertisers and rapidly launch scaled deployments for our banks.
Why was now the right time?
LYNNE: We’ve been following Dosh for a while and have been impressed with their team, their platform, and what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We’ve been looking for the right acquisition to support the transformational journey we are on, so when the Dosh opportunity presented itself, we knew we needed to pursue.
Speaking of timing, not only did you lead this acquisition during a pandemic, but you were also working to close the deal in the middle of an extraordinary Texas winter storm. What was that like?
LYNNE: Cardlytics has been working remote for a year now, so the fact that we’ve only met the Dosh team on Zoom calls oddly doesn’t feel strange anymore. But the storm did add another layer of challenges to navigate. It happened the week leading into final signatures and the official announcement, so I was taking calls with their leadership bundled up in cars or hotels because their homes had no water or power. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like for the Dosh team, but thanks to their dedication and professionalism the acquisition was seamless. Talk about resilient! I’m really proud of how this deal came together and am excited about what the future holds.
Quick on the heels of the Dosh announcement Cardlytics also announced a half billion-dollar round of funding for near-term additional expansion. Can you share any plans for the future of this funding?
LYNNE: We are in a strong capital position, so we knew we needed to take advantage of it. This round of funding provides us with the equity we need to continue our excellerated growth to become a top competitor in the digital advertising space. As with Dosh, we will continue to look at companies that complement our existing business model to further strengthen our offering for advertisers, financial services companies, and their shared customers.
How does the acquisition and the fast follow funding round help position Cardlytics as it looks toward the future?
LYNNE: This acquisition takes Cardlytics’ strength serving larger advertisers and banks and combines it with Dosh’s exceptional capabilities serving the newer emerging financial services companies and non-traditional banks. The round of funding will help us continue to accelerate this type of growth in the future. We are transforming Cardlytics to be a viable player as one of the largest ad platforms out there. I definitely have a vision of what this can be when we are all said and done. It’s a really exciting journey for us to be on.