There’s a few points baked into your question (which is valid of course), so lets unpack them here and hopefully I can do justice to all of them.
I think the three main drivers for us releasing new features are: 1) Platform load and stability 2) New features and partnerships in existing regulatory frameworks and 3) New features and partnerships under new licenses.
Let me start by saying that for all three aspects, our decision-making is about as conservative as a fintech can be (given need to grow, keep fund raising etc). We are really here to create a new-age financial services company, not just another fintech. Its easier to do the latter (in the short-term specially) and we may never get to our near-impossible goal of creating a new paradigm in finance but all the same, that’s our goal as a management team. In other words, we would simply not be happy being a regular fintech (as I type this, have just landed back in London to head straight to our physical community event and opening of our first physical presence on the high street at Harrow Road - how many other fintechs have done that, especially in year one).
So for 1 above, we are growing really fast… and want to ensure the platform never fails on our end (ie not because of one of our many partner integrations but simply our infrastructure). Adding features puts extra load on even currently working stuff (regression testing etc) so there’s some degree of caution but this is actually the easiest to solve. So clear roadmap available for this (will ask the team to share asap).
For 2, same as 1 but with an extra dependency on partners. We have now started to work with some really big names, and sometimes they won’t move as fast as us or as fast as they think they will, and that’s just part of life. So, clearish roadmap on these but with a degree of possible delays.
3 is where Grow and Invest fit in - this uses our MiFID Investment license from the FCA (fun fact: did you know we are the only firm with both an emoney and an investment license, enabling that super wide proposition). The Investment license is a huge degree of responsibility and accountability with the regulator and our customers (much more onerous than operating a payments only business and tying up with investment operators). So, our approach has been even more extra cautious in this - we have set out exact journeys for both Grow and Invest including portfolios available etc with the FCA and would ideally get a no-objection from them before making it available for mass. At this stage of our existence, the growth has been so much more than expected and the early data from the first bonds issuance factored in, I just want to be super secure in switching on this offering. We are very nearly there but as I said before, given our very small size in the grand scheme of things and our quite innovative offering (the bonds, the Tinder-inspired risk profiler for Investments etc), we simply cannot commit a date yet. I know it’s frustrating for you, and on bad days it’s frustrating for me - and then I remember the wise words from the last scene of American Beauty!
I can be honest and say our biggest risk as a business is continuous fund raising - no different to any other startup our age or older. Profitability is a while off although with a very thought-through business model, I think we will get there much earlier than our competitors.
The roadmap and our ability to execute at pace (you can judge from our scope, speed and recognition thus far - Optima #8, Startups100 #25, and big name partnerships) is our strength.
The team at Dozens and I remain grateful for all of your early custom, enthusiasm and feedback - and I promise transparency on the journey back. Help us make Dozens count… not just count a little bit but really count. A little patience in the early days will go a long way for that.
PS: Action taken on me - to publish a roadmap till end of 2019, along 1-2-3 above.
PPS: In true community spirit, am going to request the same from you guys that I do from the team (fun fact 2: two people from the community are now in the team!)… please don’t just wait for awesome proactive comms from us; its not one of our strengths yet and we are working on it. So, for now, whenever you have a question, just put it out here and tag me. I will respond.