Did you know that 1 out of 3 online transactions is abandoned because the user had forgotten their passwords?
Domm Holland is the co-founder and CEO of Fast, a company that is building the worlds fastest login and checkout product. Fast wants to do this by taking out the need for passwords. Domm believes in a passwordless future in which we can all rely on Fast to make it easier for us to buy things online.
Before Fast, the solutions we've had to passwords have been Password Managers like LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper. The issue is that these solutions are what if someone hacks that password manager? Well, that just means that they'll have access to all your passwords. Some companies have implemented solutions like FaceID from Apple, or other biometric authentication methods. The only problem is that you must create a digital signature for each of these eco-systems. Fast is platform-agnostic and can be used by multiple vendors as long as they are part of the eco-system.
Fast has received some attention from some of the biggest Venture Capitalist firms in Silicon Valley. Jan Hammer, from Index Ventures (The same firm who led the round for Robinhood), has led the round for Fast's pre-seed round of $2.5 million. Included in the pre-seed round are Susa Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and some local Angels.
On March 26, 2020, Fast announced a $20 million Series A funding round led by Stripe, with even more participation from Susa and Index. Stripe is a $35 billion online payments company, to say the least. Stripe's investment also signals the validity of Fasts mission. With access to Stripes global market and brand, the future looks like a little black button with "Fast" on it on every login and checkout interface.
Domm Holland [00:00:00] A large portion of time, you know, I think it's one in three online transactions are abandoned purely because a password, which is absolutely phenomenal, that that means that for every hundred dollars your average e-commerce company is transacting, they've missed 50 just because of passwords of all of their returning customers. Such a large portion of them are leaving just because they can't remember the password. So the solution of passwords is not making it easier to paste the password into the form. It's no password.
Jed Tabernero [00:00:34] That's Domm Holland, the co-founder and CEO of Fast, a company that is taking on passwords. We have forgotten your password and gave up on logging in. Trying to buy a product online, but gave up on checking out because it simply took too long, one in three transactions are abandoned solely because of passwords or is here to get rid of all that. They're building a One-Click Check-Out product. To basically make it easier to buy things online. Stick around and learn how dumb in the fast team is building a past for this future.
Jed Tabernero [00:01:56] So I was going through my Instagram stories last night, just going through the ads that they had and and one of the ads was interesting. One of them was about a mask that I wanted. I was like, man, if we have to do this anyway, I'm going to be stylish. So I'm going to go ahead and try to buy this product on Instagram. I clicked on the ad. The first thing was the beautiful product. So I clicked on what I wanted to order that, put it on my basket. And the next few steps were absolutely chaotic. There were a bunch of inquiries about my name, about where I was living. It felt a little bit too invasive at first, but I got to the point where I had introduced myself already to the system and then to the end when it got such checkout's, I was like, I'm not going to go all the way to my wallet to go get my car to get to get through this transaction. But I assumed that because I had Google Pay and all that stuff, that it would just connect somehow. But I didn't have that. So I guess to give an idea of how important the problems that face is trying to solve that very little thing. Right. That very little thing was super duper annoying to me. We wanted to find out from you why you thought this was the problem to solve and why you thought this was important.
Domm Holland [00:03:02] Yeah, right. Did you did you buy the mask?
Jed Tabernero [00:03:06] I did not. So, yeah, that's that's a great question because I did not. But that's a lot of my transactions, let me tell you that.
Domm Holland [00:03:12] Yeah. You know, it happens. And, you know, first of all, thanks for having me. Really, really happy to be here and chat to you guys. Yes. So our company was born out of literally watching my wife's grandmother try and order groceries. One night she was sitting at our kitchen table. My youngest son was in hospital, so she was down helping us at the time. She was trying to check out, forgot a password and just couldn't buy groceries. And so this is like the step before where you got to say she was a returning customer going to a brand that she's bought from before and just literally unable to get past that point. This is a company that turns over 70 billion dollars a year who just couldn't figure out a way to charge a little old lady sitting around the kitchen table with a purse out a couple of hundred dollars because of some arbitrary string of tax. It just makes no sense in today's age. So there's a whole class of people who we forget just actually find the Internet really difficult to find. Typical, like daily interactions really hard. And I think Silicon Valley is a great example of demographic, of people who traditionally like very tech savvy. There's a lot like the vast majority of people here, a very active Internet users. And that's in comparison to a lot of parts of the world. It's actually a really unique time in the world, obviously. But right now there's over a billion people sheltered in place in their house having to order basically everything online and groceries like the number one item. So it's such a timely point for us and the value prop of what we set out to solve, to make commerce easy, to make it fast and easy for everyone to transact online has never been more prominent than it is now. And I think you'd find, like we've been engaged by so many supermarket chains in the last couple of weeks, because obviously, like the world is going through this choke point that they're finding really difficult. And then to your point, this isn't just grannie's like this is everybody, like all humans. We've all not bought something because we've gone. This is just ridiculous how much you want me to fill out and how long it's taking and how slow it is and how horrible this form is or how it's not mobile optimized or whatever else. And the average abandonment rates online are sort of 80 to 85 percent from level. They've actually increased every single year. Right. So you like your prime example from last night? You didn't even buy the product you wanted to buy. And it was a beautiful product. Right? This is like such a commonplace thing. And it was this because that experience was terrible. And so the reality is that every business we spent the last ten years, like, really optimizing discovery. Right? We've got Facebook, we've got Instagram, social networks which have now very, very good at showing us things that we'd probably like and then and enticing us to want them. Right. But then the process is horrible. I think that a lot of the work from here will actually go into the to the conversion side. Right. Because we've kind of built this groundwork of great discovery frameworks. Now we need to build the conversion frameworks. And so that's that's absolutely where we sit. And I think that it's just really clear that people are voting with their feet and just leaving when is it's so difficult and a business can't solve this on their own. The problem is that there's more companies than ever. There's more ecommerce opportunities than ever, which is a great thing. But it also means you have to on board somebody from scratch every single time because you're not Amazon and you don't have every every person already in your database and logged in and ready and buying from you every couple of days. So you have to repeat this process that every single merchant you see and, you know, a business can only optimize the forms so much. They still it's still another form for you to fill out. And so the solution is not a better form. The solution is an audiophile to help you fill in the form. The solution is to not have a form. And the only. Leeway that you can do that is by leveraging a network in between and so that's exactly what Fast is were designed to be an intermediary and a network that scales consumers between multiple companies.
Shikher Bhandary [00:07:06] That's great. You mentioned just easing the whole checkout process. Just I'm just trying to think like the number of times I've just left things in my car and it's probably gone on to like 20, 30 items just sitting in my car. And I can just imagine how broke I would go if I ended up clicking the one click out all the time. Jeez.
Domm Holland [00:07:28] Well, you know, I actually think this is another good point. Right. So groceries are a great example of, you know, you walk into a store, you pick up a basket and you fill it with food and then and then you pay and you leave makes complete sense online. Like, we don't necessarily have to do that. Like, if you are looking at a pair of shoes, you were looking at a mosque you didn't like, spend 15 minutes walking around aisles like carrying stuff you don't even need the car. Like, why add to your car and then check out sort of manual and go through this, like, multi-step process. You just want to buy the mosque so you could have just bought the mosque. So like the Addicott button is kind of it. It's not to say it doesn't have a place if people want to. Bundalong kind of want to check a total and see how much stuff is then that's fine. It's a function, but it's at the moment we've built all of e-commerce around this thing that is actually not necessary most of the time. And you could have bought the mosque in one click and been done right from the product page. You didn't have to go anywhere else. So that is our sort of experience that we're bringing. And if you if you go to Fast or Canal in hit, sign up for new details. It's five fields information. It'd be the fastest sign up. Check out for me if you've ever used. But then when we've got a swag store so you can actually try out a product, if you go to our swag store, then you can buy a hoodie for ten bucks delivered worldwide so you can try it out. But it is one click. You're looking at the hoodie, you click buy and it's done. You click fast checkout and it's done like there's nothing else. We haven't made you go to a hot Addicott, then go to the car and click checkout then then sign in. It's everything done in one click. And that is really the way that that ecommerce should be the majority of times.
Adrian Grobelny [00:09:00] So, Dom, can you walk us through what is the step by step process to get this system for yourself to be able to just one click? What is the data that you need? How much time does that take? And then how does that streamline into different merchants and different websites that we can use your product on?
Domm Holland [00:09:17] So we're a beta B2C company, which means that we integrate with a business to put our fast checkout button onto their side. And that means that every customer that that business has can use fast checkout on their site. So as a consumer, you can't directly dictate where you use fast checkout. It's up to the merchant to have supported fast checkout in the first place. Obviously, merchants of consumers are afraid to demand that merchants adopt our technology. And we're seeing a lot of demand like that. But we do integrate with the business now once the business is integrated, our tech and that is a very, very simple process as well. But once a business has done that as a consumer, when you're shopping, you literally will just see a button, a black button with white writing that says fast checkout. It tells you exactly what it does. There's no secrecy around it. And when you click the button, if you've never used it before, then it's just an optimized checkout form, which would have same. We collect five pieces of information, your name, your email address, your phone number, your address, your delivery address. And it's all in one field. It's very easy to use address phone and it works worldwide and your card information. So it's five bits of information. It's very fast. It's a very small form. It doesn't take you ten minutes on average. It takes like thirty seconds and then you're done. You buy the product or you buy you check out for whatever you were looking to buy from that merchant. There's no extra steps. The next time you see that button, the fast checkout button, it's a one click checkout. So when you click it, you've now bought what you were looking to buy. There was there's no confirmation step. There's nothing that you need to do other than click that button. And that's not to say you need to be worried about clicking that button, because once you click it, we give you we give you time that you can change your address, you can change your cards, you can put in your work object. When you work address, you can put in your wife's card, your husband's God, or you can cancel the order. So if you miss click, it doesn't matter. Like we don't punish you. Our tagline is fast, easy, safe. So we make it very fast, very easy. But it's also completely safe if you if you change your mind or if you want to change your address or anything else,
Shikher Bhandary [00:11:23] say hopefully, you know, fast signs up with like a Lululemon. Right. A person provides that information or you leverage a customer's information and he or she presses a button, one click checkout. So now see if you expand into C a partnering up with Gap. So with the same customer now go to Gap. And when he sees that button, he or she sees that button presses it. And if. The same experience, are you are you guys talking about, like, platform agnostic, I guess setting it up might might need one platform, but then once that's set up, that information can be then used for one click check out across the platform.
Domm Holland [00:12:10] Yeah. So stuff like that. Every device, every website, every platform, every card. And so this is like a really big point. So. So that's absolutely right. Let's say let's say we were integrated with Lululemon and you you buy something from a you buy a shirt, right. Then the first time you've never seen Fastrack out before. When you click fast, checkout up pops phos check out form. Right. We collect the five bits of information from you. Those are the those are the only five bits of information that are required to process that transaction. And and so throw away any bad checkout forms you've ever seen. This is delightful and it only asks for what you actually need to give and then you buy the product now then you're done. Right. There's nothing else you need to do. You've got your shirt your way. And then the next day, you know, to your point, I come into the store. But let's say you're a Macy's, right? You're on some other end and you see the fast checkout button and you're looking at the shirt. You click the button and you're done. There's no foam now because we've already collected that information from you before. There's no need for you to do anything else. You've now just bought the shirt from Macy's. It is literally that simple. And we can take that the first time you used it on another device. So let's say you've shopping during your lunch break at work on your computer and you use that. Well, then the first time you go to use it on your phone, you obviously we don't know who you are yet. That would be really weird. So when you put in your email address, we automatically send you a pin. And when you enter the pin to either your email or your or your mobile, that's why we collect your phone number. Then when you went to the pin, it instantly checks you out then and now you've enabled one click check out for that device as well. So you don't even have to enter all of your information again. So it's and that takes like five or six seconds on average. So it's it's really fast
Shikher Bhandary [00:13:51] like Apple Pay, but all across every device, every browser, every laptop, irrespective of the ecosystem platform,
Domm Holland [00:13:58] look absolute. I mean, I honestly, I think apple pie is a great product and I really do. They're already processing more volume than PayPal in-store. Online. It is a great product, I think. And it's to well, to get a product. The reality is, as Apple has 17 percent market share worldwide in terms of smartphones. So it's a very small percentage of population who can actually use it. Even even in the US, it's 50 percent of the population here have an iPhone. That's a huge amount of people. Right. But that means that half of the population can't use apple pay. So there has to be another method to start off with. But even the half the can you basically have to be on your mobile device? Like I was on I literally yesterday? This is true. I went on to Apple Dotcom. I had to order and adapter for my laptop. Small purchase, went on the Apple dotcom. I logged in with my Apple ID. I was sitting on a MacBook. A new MacBook is going to a fingerprint scanner and everything else. I logged in with my Apple ID, but they didn't have apple pie like apple pie wasn't even baked into that experience because it can't support apple pie in that example. So it's like even on Apple, Apple's own website, sitting on their own device, they still can't support an apple pie. So whereas fast checkout would have been supported if Tim Cook wants to do a deal, which I'm more than happy to. So so, yeah, I think that's that's our real opportunity is is to remove that context from this. And the difference is, is that our sole interest is making commerce easy for consumers like we we are just stock despite the fact that we are a B2B to see. We consider the consumer our customer. And our only job is to make transactions fast, easy and safe. So that's what we do on it. On every device. We've got no no limitations.
Jed Tabernero [00:15:38] Authentication has been a huge problem or has had a huge problem with passwords specifically. Right. And this process, this company will eliminate the need for having a password. Right. So I guess what's what's your beef with passwords when it comes to too fast? Right. You're not going to you're not going to acquire this. And that may be just a function of the speed that you're trying to get to optimize. But I'm wondering if this was invented in the sixties, why after 80 years do we come up with solutions like this?
Domm Holland [00:16:09] Yeah, so they just they just don't necessarily apply is the plain truth. And to your point, they were actually invented in nineteen sixty add at MIT and the inventor actually recently passed away. May he rest in peace but but he should have taken passwords with him and. Well the reality is that look at Silicon Valley. Right. How many, how many amazing innovative companies they are here like all around the world. But obviously there's a big density of these companies here that had stock transformations. I have never met a founding team out of any one of these projects that first sat down and went before we get started on this, how are we going to manage authentication? It is just the accepted thing that you put in an email field and a password field. That's how people log in. Thinks it's this exact same thing as every e-commerce store and every day to see Brand that you see none of them first start by going, how are we going to manage the car? Are we going to have an ad, the button and then a checkout? But none like that. It's just taken for granted the infrastructure that everyone's been using. It's the same thing is like keyboards and like all of the devices that we use, like fridges, the way that stuff operates is all quite similar to the way it has been for some time because it just kind of works. Right. And the funny thing about passwords is it's the one kind of bit of tech that actually don't work. A large portion of time, you know, I think it's one in three online transactions are abandoned purely because of password, which is absolutely phenomenal, that that means that for every hundred dollars your average e-commerce company is transacting, they've missed 50 just because of passwords of all of their returning customers. Such a large portion of them are leaving just because they can't remember the password. So it's in the e-commerce space. It actually costs a huge amount of huge amounts of money, over a trillion dollars a year in lost sales just because of passwords so that they don't make sense. And from a security point of view, it's actually not very good security like we've all seen how many password breaches that have been right. There's like another one in every given day. But it's crazy that so the way the passwords work is the server stores are a version of your password in the server originally was done in plain text, and that's horrific. Now everyone or everyone is meant to encrypt. We've actually got no idea whether anyone is encrypting or not, but we just assume that they are that's how they install this encrypted version. Even in even in those breaches. What happens is hackers go and create their own databases of encrypted passwords that they can match to. So even if there is an encrypted password, they can check their own database to see if they know if they've seen the same encrypted password before. So it's they still it's still a terrible security because if anyone breaches a server, they've got access to these token. So then they can try and replicate that around the Internet. And that's called credential stuffing attacks. So there are terrible security. The solution is it's kind of funny that the biggest solution we've had to passwords or the safe solution has been password managers, which basically take your password and then store it in more places. So the biggest problem with passwords has been that the password has been stored somewhere, which is on a server. And now the solution or the perceived solution has been store them on your phone as well, all in one place. So like every one of your passwords store them together. So if anyone got into that one place, now they've got all of your passwords and then and then they went, well, everyone has multiple devices. So we couldn't possibly just draw them on your phone because you can't use them on a computer or your iPad. So we're going to back them up into our cloud as well. So now, like the original service, you got it. Now your device has got it and now someone else's cloud has got it. It's crazy that we like that this is the best practice. So, you know, it's the same thing is like this solution to check out is not better for him. It's not what I feel. It's get rid of the form. The solution of passwords is not making it easier to paste the password into the form. It's no password. So that's that's the way that we look at the world.
Jed Tabernero [00:20:02] Fast is trying to solve problems on multiple fronts. Right. So usually there's solutions for a quick or check out. Right. And then there is another solution for authentication, like, let's say an Apple Pay for something fast is trying to do. Both is trying to get you logged in and get you logged out, because I think you found that the similarity there is the identity, the authentication, the source of truth, I guess fast is trying to become on the Web page is also something super awesome that you're trying to become the single source of truth for identity. That's that's a brave mission.
Domm Holland [00:20:39] Yeah, so we basically natively integrate identity and payments in one, we're just building a network that stores consumers data, right. Or people's information. And we make it fast and easy for them to use that information whenever they want to. And we protect it whenever they don't. And whenever they do want to share that information, we make sure that they know what they're sharing, who they're sharing it with and can control that tightly. It's kind of funny. We've had all of these privacy breaches and everything else and companies, especially advertising companies and plenty of big tech companies you might name, have sort of freely used our data for for a long time and made it really easy for our data to be put in anyone's hands. Yet every one of our interactions are terrible. Right. So like most e-commerce stores, if you looked at the source code of the page, they already know our email address and our name when we land on the site. Right. They got to check out. No idea who we are. You know, you go to most of those company sites and you look at the source of the page. You're all tracking our IP address and our name and our emails. They know exactly who we are going to log in. No idea who we are. It's crazy that, like, everyone gets to use a benefit out the use of our data other than us. And so we flip it is is our view is that we want to make it really easy for consumers and for people to use their data when they want to. But if they don't, then we just we just not sharing it. So there's lots of circumstances where you want to do that when you're logging in or when you registering to a service. We make that really easy. We've got your information that when you're checking out, we make that really easy in the future. Like when you fill in any form, whether it's in person or online, it's most most of it is the same data. It's our standard kind of profile data or payment information or just giving a payment to someone. But there's just so many interactions. You know, if you walk into a doctor's clinic and you go to fill in a patient form, like it's a terrible process, like we still like filling out forms with paper and pen again, like we could speed that up. And, yes, we want to we just want to make all of these interactions really easy for consumers. And we think of it as just one one network or one sort of data wallet that consumers can have and can use to power those interactions.
Jed Tabernero [00:22:43] Right. For consumers to be able to trust that you'll be able to keep their information and for them to be safe when they're going to different platforms buying their stuff. So I guess what are what are the types of things that you're doing to ensure users that they're going to be OK with signing up, putting that information there and that being integrated across all platforms?
Domm Holland [00:23:00] So to us, privacy and security are absolutely paramount in what we do. We basically consider ourselves a security company in saying that we actually very rarely talk about it. And it's because consumers care far less about security than they should. And in fact, the average American also is far less about security than they should. Your problem with with your purchase of the mosque last night wasn't who is this random company that just paid a few dollars to Instagram to show? And I'm going to plug in all my details, my credit card information. You did care less your problem with how low and hot it was for you to give your information to them. And so the reality is we visibly solve for fast to make it fast and easy to give you information under the covers we actually solve for privacy and security. If we actually touted everything that we do for privacy and security, we'd probably turn people off because it would just be boring, right. Most people just don't want to know. They don't want to hear about it. Like that's why there's a lot of dead bodies in this sort of sector and industry. And normally they're touting some type of like privacy and security measure. Right. Whereas we don't really want to know. It's like just make it easy for me to buy the mask. Like, it's great that you've got whatever that is that you've got under the hood. But I just want to buy this mask more easily. And so the reality is that in the e-commerce experience, that is what we've got to deliver on for the consumer. That's what the consumer wants. Over time. When you're in the thought process around buying a t shirt or buying a mask, it's a quite light hearted, lightweight thing for you. You just want to give your information quite easily. It's quite simple information, even though its credit card is we're kind of protected by banks these days. Consumer mind is quite trusting when you're sitting in a doctor's clinic and you're filling in a form with sensitive information. That's a completely different mindset, right? You're not going to be filling in some ad on Instagram and telling them, like your blood type. That's just that's it's just a different thought pattern. That's also why we are starting off in the low friction area, because we don't necessarily need to have that discussion up front and we don't need to have that level of thought going on. We just make it easy to power fairly simple transaction for a user and then later on and then we can be messaging to consumers under the surface and we can be telling consumers what it is, how how we're protecting the data and how we're securing the data over time. And then we can educate them on exactly why they actually should trust us. But the reality is, most of the time that you have the trust of the brand that you're sitting on and and half the time consumers in the world,
Adrian Grobelny [00:25:29] I wanted to jump into the fintech industry and regulation, as we know. There's all these companies strike, for example, that just invested 20 million, congrats on the round of funding. That's amazing. I can see a lot of synergies with Fast and Stripe, but also all these other fintech companies that are trying to promote and expand e-commerce, make it easier and make it quicker and just get a dominance and transactional volume across the globe. So I wanted to understand where you see the fintech industry going and what types of regulation do you think that fintech companies will start to see more and more of?
Domm Holland [00:26:09] Yeah, look, obviously, stripe stripe and also said synergistic in terms of the two companies, while there's overlap, the reality is, is that Strib have done a phenomenal job and their mission is to make it easy for businesses to accept payments like that's what they do. And they've done such a great job with that and Wallis's overlap. Our job is to make it easy for consumers to make payments. And so whilst it kind of sounds like the same thing is a really big distinction, and that's why we have got this incredible back end payment infrastructure that enables businesses to accept payments. But almost every interaction, every integration of SREI payments is a company building their own form to collect your data, to then send that to try to process the payment. So it's no easy for the consumer to use a one company that has stripe if they've already used a previous company that has tried. So it doesn't actually make their life and the life of the consumer any easier makes it easy for the business to accept that payment. Whereas fast we sit on the front end. So we make it easy for consumers to make payments because if they've used fast before on one side, then the next night they go to it's one click. It is so easy and so it's synergistic. We don't have to go and build our back end infrastructure. That's tribes' done a great job of building tremendous global infrastructure. We can leverage that from day one, which means we can serve both consumers and so buyers and sellers in markets all around the world immediately. We don't need to go and build out any of that tooling, which is great in terms of the industry more generally. I think data is like is really the big the big shift that's happening, like on one hand, even outside of fintech, which is strengthening data and privacy laws all around the world. And that's a that's a net good thing and creating sort of frameworks for how we deal with data, consumer data specifically and who can have access to data, what they can do with it, all of this type of thing. So that's one shift I think will continue to happen. Do you think that covid sort of will stall a lot of that for a while? But I think that it definitely will definitely will continue. And then on the other side, almost conversely, you know, especially in sort of banking, is like the open banking regulations sort of coming into play in different markets. And I think that will continue all around the world. Is increasing the portability of your data between banks and between fintech and institutions. And more of that, I think will be see a lot more of this sort of fundamental pipes and infrastructure of fintech to continue to evolve, to evolve that will allow consumers to like more fluidly use their data and take their data to power new types of interactions.
Adrian Grobelny [00:28:46] Got it. And you mentioned data and how how the trend is to the expansion of data, being able to use that data better and be more efficient with the way you serve your customers. But with fast what I notice and what's unique to it is you guys keep all of that customer data to yourselves and you don't use it for any other reasons. Do you think you'll keep with that kind of philosophy going in the future, or do you think that customers will be more willing to share their data to make their experience better?
Domm Holland [00:29:17] So in the same way as like, you know, I think the world is the fintech world is tightening up data policies, yet making it easier for you to sort of use your data in more places. I think a fast is doing the same thing right. Even at checkout. Like, that's that's the way it works, is we keep your data private. Yet at the same time, we're the fastest and easiest way for you to actually give someone your data. So it almost seems like Comverse thinking in one product. And I think that is that's really true of all of our offerings. And if you're using your banks app and you want to see like what you purchased from a store, at the moment, it's like a terrible, nondescript line item of just text, like saying some purchase from months ago that you can't remember what you bought. It would be great to have, like, better metadata around that purchase. Right, so that you can actually understand or remember what you bought. And I share I share an account with my wife. If was it her purchase? Was that my purchase? We've kind of got no idea. So if there was metadata there, that would help. So we're definitely interested in these types of data partnerships where it's not about selling your data, it's not about advertising or products. It's about enriching your life or making a life better, more efficient and just solving like actual customer needs, not leveraging your data to, again, signing off of credit card. And so so, yeah, we're really interested in those things, which is not interesting. It is becoming an advertising companies, the kind of the short and simple of it, and people have done a great job at Discovery for the last 10 years. Like we all want to buy lots of stuff. We we don't really need to add to that. And so our job is to make it easy from that point forward. So it's it's an advertisers and a seller's job to get you to want to buy something. It's our job to make that really easy once that's happened and to like everything after that fact, basically. And so we'll keep we'll keep using our data, the data and for things that absolutely have positives for our consumer. The consumer has absolutely opted into that. They understand what they share and why they're sharing it. And it's not for any other trade off. And that's also true for merchants. Right, is like we want to see it. We want our fast checkout button to be on every single e-commerce company's website. So if we were sharing merchant data or transaction data about merchants, like, that's it, we're not going to make many friends and we absolutely don't want that. Like both sides of the market should be, should be feel secure that their data is just being kept siloed, that it's not being shared with anyone that's not being used, that they're not being proactive or else that competitors aren't sort of aware what they're doing.
Shikher Bhandary [00:31:40] The whole synergy with Strobe, I just wanted to get a feel of of how that race was with the recent investment. I mean, Corbitt hit like two months ago and Secoya put forward it's all good times, Memmo. Right. But Foster's out here still raising and kicking ass. So was it like a hot in mouth feeling like were you, like, anxious to kind of get this through to give you enough runway? What were you thinking?
Domm Holland [00:32:11] It's a it's a serious job to stay fairly emotionally stagnant most of the time. Right. Have it. Your emotional range, you know, got to not go too high. Too low. And so I was OK. The reality is, is that the pain point that we were solving was a huge pain point for covered. The pain point that we're solving is and actually even bigger pain point and probably a bigger pain point now. So if you're looking at any sector for where to invest, like this is a very good sector to be investing in, both short term, medium term, long term, there's only growth from here. We're building the tools to make commerce online easier. And at the moment, every consumer in the world is basically forced to engage in all commerce online, like we're fairly well protected. Luckily, has a very strong balance sheet as well. Not every companies like that. So even though we're very investable company, the reality is some companies may not have been in a position to follow through as sort of once, but it's yeah, we our fundraising was largely unaffected. And I could tell you, like, right up until the days before and still now, like, I'm still harassed by investors all around the world pre and post. So there's no shortage of capital like the reality, especially once public markets are in turmoil. I don't understand how they're going up at the moment. But but regardless, like when they're when they're in turmoil is capital is still need to flow somewhere. Right. People don't really like to hold cash. And so where are you going to put it and look for the places that are most likely to deliver some type of return or at least not lose all of your money.
Shikher Bhandary [00:33:39] So you mentioned building out the tools and from outside as a customer, you're like, oh, it's just a button. I'm going to click it and I buy it. But obviously there's so many things, the complexity behind how is it been for you to actually create that with regards to, like choosing the right members on your team, technical staff and the legal finance? You know, there are so many angles to this. How has it been for you trying to put it all into one functioning, delivering team?
Domm Holland [00:34:09] There's just so many challenges, like to your point, you can you can have the absolute best idea in the world. You could raise all the money in the world and just fail absolutely miserably at executing or you could execute very well. And then the market dies, like look at look at companies affected by covid who like, you know, six months ago with high flying and now probably get like you is there's just so many things that some that you can control, some that you can't, you know, some that are just pure luck. It's just really complex. Right. You know, sitting here, there was a ladder in front of me. It's like it's crazy how many, like things, non-business items that you do as a found out. Right. Like how many times I find myself on a ladder putting like furniture and like, you know, cleaning, like just doing random stuff that has nothing to literally
Shikher Bhandary [00:34:54] keeping the lights
Domm Holland [00:34:55] on. Yeah, exactly right. I'm going to collect mail, you know, during covid. So it's just really difficult and complex. And so team building is the same. Right. And, you know, for us, we're just over a year old. We're already a team of like nearly twenty five people. We only started recruiting in November. So we've basically five within five months. We've grown from two to twenty five people. So like we're a very fast growing company. We've grown at a faster pace than most early stage companies, typical early stage companies. They go through stages. Right. And different people are better and different stages. And like, well, I really proactively. Hi. And now knowing that the people we put on now aren't necessarily going to be the best the best people for those roles in six months or in six years. And you've always got to be thinking ahead early on. You need people who are going to be great generalists and who can do multiple things and wear multiple hats and not get too worried about sort of doing random stuff outside of their purview. And then there are some people who don't like that. Somebody would like to have a very specific function, which is fine, but it just suits itself to light up later engagements. So one that's difficult to do. This is one of the most competitive job markets in the world for a lot of functions, especially like engineering and product, which is, of course, like our two main areas that we saw
Shikher Bhandary [00:36:13] in Silicon Valley.
Domm Holland [00:36:14] OK, so one, like knowing the types of people you need, you want to recruit, need to recruit, and then to being able to actually recruit them like one. How do you get in front of them and find them and identify them? And ideally early on, you want to get people who really believe in what you're doing and really believe in the mission because you know that you want them to have like a native understanding of what you're doing and everyone to be marching in the same line and not just be riding on zip code to really be building a product. And so, yeah, it's a it's a it's a complex is a complex, never ending challenge.
Jed Tabernero [00:36:46] So I guess as we're on the topic of of team building here, I wanted to ask you about the the story behind Allison Borra, previously the head global payments division in Dubai. Why was it important for Allison to come back and build fast with you?
Domm Holland [00:37:04] Yes. So I so you can tell from my funny accent, I'm Australian. I raised an angel around in Sydney, in Sydney, Australia, in May last year. I caught the next flight to just to San Francisco, to Silicon Valley. And so I arrived here in June and I kissed my wife and kids goodbye. And, you know, I they stayed in Australia while I sort of got set up and I just, like, ruthlessly networked. I didn't know anyone here, but I knew that this was a place that I wanted to build this business. And so I just started networking. I reached out to Alison on Twitter profile. She did angel investing. I wasn't actually raising money at the time, but she was obviously in like the money division to do. But it got a huge financial services business. I reached out to her called I send our message on Twitter, we call it up for coffee and just, yeah, I had a really great, really great conversation. She really, like, really deeply understood what it is that I set out to build and had a lot of the same forethought that I had. She'd written a thesis on the space that was like like almost identical to what I set out to build. So we hit it off and she she wanted to come on as an angel investor. She wanted to introduce me to some some VC. So I met with in September and in Labor Day, I met with John Hammer, who's a partner at Index Ventures, and we had breakfast and it was a sort of first meeting. And and so he's based out of London normally. But he flew in he was here at the time. And so we had breakfast on the spot. He made me an offer to invest. And so he next let out now proceed round. And so I went back to Alice and she said at the meeting, I said, Critism is investing. And she said, what was I going to lay down the ground? And she said, I've never I've never seen VCs move this fast. And and so I texted her and I said, so. Yeah. And then she said I was already investing. I said, no, you know, are you going to join the team? And I John and I worked and we talked her into coming on board. And and yes, she came on as a co-founder. And we've been and we've been building for since.
Jed Tabernero [00:39:05] That's awesome, just the adoption of people who are also in the fintech space, especially on having led the round as well for Robin Hood, a huge company and fintech space right now, that's it just speaks volumes to the kind of goals that you have.
Domm Holland [00:39:19] Yeah, look at the brain trust behind for us, honestly, like it's a bit ridiculous. They put me at the front of it is just mind boggling. We've got some incredible people behind us, like both internally, both in the company and on the team and and sitting outside group and investors and advisors like we have bank CEOs who are invested in us. We just have such incredible people around the world. And yet John's a phenomenal investor. He's done extremely well enough into space. He Robin Hood, Adrienne, transfer wise, you know, he led all of those investments. He was like he's just so such such a great investor. So we're really humbled to have such incredible group of people behind us.
Shikher Bhandary [00:40:01] You having raised from Australia, that's that's such a cool thing. It just shows that talent is everywhere, even with now, I guess. Right. Very similar where the founder came over to us from Australia. So it's just I don't know. It's it's probably the food they're eating. I don't know.
Jed Tabernero [00:40:21] It's so it's it's it's just so cool because it's literally everything about this company is fast food. Yeah. They had their birthday. Like what, like March 14th or something.
Domm Holland [00:40:30] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Well I actually think the most the most amazing thing is that so you know, I was sitting in Brisbane, Australia when I incorporated the company in March 14th and it was incorporated using Stripe Atlas, which is Stripes product for Red, easily registering US based companies. And almost a year to the day later, we were announcing stripes. Twenty million dollar investment at twenty million dollars. That was led by Strib. And you know, this tribe, this tribe team said, you know, not every customer gets this gets this treatment. And I said, imagine if they did
Shikher Bhandary [00:41:07] talk about going full circle. Yeah.
Domm Holland [00:41:09] Yeah, exactly. Yes, exactly. Yeah.
Adrian Grobelny [00:41:12] What were your first reactions? And moving to Silicon Valley and building a whole new network
Domm Holland [00:41:19] like I love the unknown, you know, too much of too much of the same thing. And I get anxious. So like I quite like change. So, you know, I'm kind of drawn to it. So, like, I find it easy. Like, if I didn't have a funny accent, you would know that I'm not from the US building network in general. Like, you take a lot of effort, like it takes time and effort and you've got to be really, really hungry. So I moved my wife and kids here in November after we raised out pretty. But before that, you know, I just bring seven, 16 hours a day, seven days a week. There was that was all I was doing. And so I was just building networks and meeting people and working on product. And so, you know, it's just it's is hard work. But but the actual process is pretty simple. You always you could drop in the Sahara Desert and I'd come out sort of renting camel. I yeah, it doesn't really matter where I am.
Jed Tabernero [00:42:10] Fast has a lot of prospects for customers in the future. And, you know, there are a lot of big companies that I think are already working with Stripe that are going to be future customers and future joint ventures with them. I'm just thinking about this. Is government also a space that you'd be interested in, like government transactions and things of that nature? I, I would imagine it'd be a good opportunity for there to be a single source of truth for dealing with the company.
Domm Holland [00:42:33] Yeah, look, absolutely. I mean, government is just another when we're talking about this sort of data wallet, right. For free for all of your data, it's we're talking about every Internet connected consumer in the world. Right. Everyone has this problem. Every phone that we have to fill out, every time we have to check out every country, every single human goes through this from a business standpoint. Every business has the same thing. Right. They want to take your money if they want to get information. It's just a terrible experience. And so they all like they all need this network between government is absolutely no different. Right. The government needs to collect information. They need payments. They need to send you stuff. They just. Yeah, absolutely. Like a huge potential customer because it's such big organizations. You know, within government, each department is like another media organization or mini company. So, yeah, look, I think, you know, government will be, you know, long term will be a great customer for us. Government does take time and energy and focus and and a long sales cycles. And it's not somewhere I'm racing to get into. But I think that absolutely it'll become a very, very large tenet of our business in the long term.
Jed Tabernero [00:43:44] That's so awesome. Yeah, the ways this could scale is just ridiculous.
Shikher Bhandary [00:43:48] Also just thinking, I mean, if the government want to move us right and they have to send back calls and all of that stuff, please purchase orders. And then the admins like, oh, don't. It's just one click check. Yeah.
Domm Holland [00:44:02] Yeah, well, so it's one quick, you know. So the. This is true for B2B, right? It's the same thing like we we were focused on the consumer, but about really like business, the business is the same thing, like look at how hard it is for two companies to interact with each other just to, like, generate invoices and numbers, everything else. And then after the fact, like even if you are so imagine like Ali's case just for SACE, Slack's model is sort of famous, the sort of bottom up approach right where they went after people would just go sign up themselves. Employees first, the ones who joined. But imagine if as a sales rep, when a new CEO comes out, that looks interesting, that can help you with the workflow that in one click you could register and subscribe and suddenly have your profile set up in a new source platform. Like imagine what that would do for SAS companies. It's like absolutely huge, the impact that it can have. And then the billing department of your company automatically get the invoices reconciled directly into their system is like we can we can be the intermediary. The P&L is all of this. So it can have tremendous impact from a business standpoint, not just a consumer standpoint.
Shikher Bhandary [00:45:08] I know I mentioned this earlier, but having been in like the healthcare and medical device space, there was just so much regulation with the FDA and stuff. So you're only authorized to purchase from a few suppliers and you can't really go outside because the whole set up process is ridiculously hot. You could just think that, you know, having this process ingrained with good back in to ensure security could help scale into so many different industries.
Jed Tabernero [00:45:35] I guess one last thing on my own, I was just curious because I was I was looking for other solutions. What people are trying to do to solve this problem, especially password's right. And I came across this alliance called Feydeau Farce Identity Online Alliance. A bunch of 250 companies came together. Huge companies are trying to standardize two factor identification and they have sort of a similar goal to get rid of the the dependance towards passwords. So I was wondering, have you talked to, I guess, Phyto or people in Phyto for inputting the solution and having this as being the front of that alliance? So I'm just curious.
Domm Holland [00:46:12] Yeah, so it's it's an easy way to kind of think of it. Right, is its technology is like baked into your browser. That means that you can use touch ID a little fingerprint scanners on you and you have on your phone or on your laptop or face ID if a facial recognition in your phone or on your computer through the Internet, right through through a browser. So rather than just being a native app, it means that you can do that to log into a website. Right. The reality is, if you can think about it, the apps on your phone that use face ID or touch ID or whatever else, you still have a password for those apps. So you've got to log into that app with a password. And then you've got then you can choose. Yes, I want to use face idiot. I tried to write. What Fido does is it's the sort of protocol for sharing that token your token for that browser or that device with that website. So if you do that on your phone, when you go to your computer, that doesn't work anymore because it's a different device. And so one of the biggest issues of passwords are that it's it's a single token and it doesn't scale because it's one token for you and a website. So you have to have a new token for every website. Feydeau swaps the token. So instead of it being a password, it's your touch ID or your face ID, but it's still registered from a device to a service. And so you have to create those tokens each time. And so if you get a new phone, you have to recreate each of those tokens because it's based on that device. So imagine the five hundred services that you use over a year having to redo that every time. And guess how you need to log into those services to redo it with a password. It's not a solution. I'm I'm actually I'm for it. I'm not against it. It's just not a solution. Fast. I can use things like Feydeau to let you leverage face ID in the browser or touch ID in the browser. And if you only have to register that token to fast, then it means you can have easy login to any service that you have and you only have to do that once and you can get your device into it. So Feydeau is great. It's sort of enabling technology use through a browser, but it still requires us, which is an intermediary that sits in between.
Shikher Bhandary [00:48:25] I guess this is just me being chatty, but I remember when I first moved to Phenix, Arizona, I was I moved into an Airbnb and the owner was Australia. And I remember I got some fruit because I'm like a fruit nut, fruit junkie, whatever. She looked at the mangoes that I was eating and she was so disgusted that I was touching a mango.
Domm Holland [00:48:55] Was it green?
Shikher Bhandary [00:48:56] That's not. It was great.
Domm Holland [00:48:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Shikher Bhandary [00:49:02] She was so upset. I thought she was going to. Cancel my whatever my payment and just kick me out that afternoon. Yeah, I just like being about. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's about it. Yeah. Yes. You were just wondering about how the fruits that we tend to get in the US like tropical fruits are not as good as the ones that I had. And she had like she went on this pineapple rant and she was like, oh the pineapples. And I was like, yeah, I totally get it. You don't have to say another word. Yeah. So just on that note, I just wanted to ask, you know, is there something that you miss from Australia? You know, you've lived there all your life being an entrepreneur there?
Domm Holland [00:49:50] Yeah, lots. I mean, there is life and quality of life in Australia is amazing. You know, I lived in Queensland the last ten years, which is like the northern sort of part of Australia. The climate is absolutely incredible, like year round. So in San Francisco, in summer, it's colder than than Brisbane in winter. And I know because it was traveling back and forwards and it was it's like amazing. So we actually got away to Cabo a couple of months ago. And it's because as we go away for like three days, we just took a long weekend. I find it hard to take Monday off and just got knocked away. And it's because I had I never get sick and I had a cold for like three weeks. And and I knew it was just because in Australia I get sun on my body, like, every day. Right. I'd go for a run in the morning, get some of the back of my legs and my shoulders like it's the vitamin D, you know, and here I wore jeans and a jumper every day for like six, seven months or something. And I was going to write about, like, my body was just literally run down. I knew that if I just go to somewhere with sun and with water, I'd be OK. And we were there for three days, came back. And I've been I've been brand new ever since. And so so definitely climate. Definitely, whether I miss water and a steak, if we talk about food like steak is the number one thing that I miss. It's it's so different. It's so expensive here and back home is still so much better. And then yeah, I think know salads more generally. The one thing that we are amazed by here though is how cheap cilantro is. And that is an incredible thing in Australia. It's like harder to find, it's hard to find. But it's, it's not as it's not in as much abundance as it is here. And it's like ten times more expensive in Australia. So the cilantro prices here are fantastic.
Shikher Bhandary [00:51:33] How much cilantro are you using?
Jed Tabernero [00:51:34] Oh yeah. I've met avocado toast and everything and cilantro for some people,
Domm Holland [00:51:45] so I know. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, there's they found a gene in people who don't like who don't like cilantro.
Shikher Bhandary [00:51:53] Yeah. No it was this conversation was super fun. Thanks for being so open with us. Lastly, before you go, I would love to give you the stage for I don't know if people want to reach out to you or listen to your thoughts, read your articles, stay updated with fast progress. Where could they reach out to you?
Domm Holland [00:52:16] Sure. So I'm most active on Twitter so you can go Twitter to come forward. Slash Dom D o double M for Mary Open DMS. Feel free to contact me on Twitter on my profile. You'll find as well that there's a WhatsApp group so that if you want to be the first to get sort of you phosphatase a behind the scenes stuff or as we're putting pushing so some of these new products that may launch soon, the very first look will come through that WhatsApp group. So it's a good place to sort of get in the know it's going to be used for marketing or anything else. It's just just for our sort of early bhatta testers. But you can also feel free to me through WhatsApp. But yet, what is Twitter's best channel? And if you do want to work and part of the fast team, we are always hungry for great, talented people here and all around the world. And so if you go to fast forward slash careers and I know I sound I say fast funnily.
Shikher Bhandary [00:53:05] No, you don't trust me, dude. Before this call, I was like, no, it's fast. See, this is the pronunciation. If you
Domm Holland [00:53:12] look it up, I
Shikher Bhandary [00:53:13] was literally doing British. You know what I
Domm Holland [00:53:17] when I when I first arrived in America, there was two words that people struggled saying the first was fast or struggled to understand when I said them. And the first is fast because everyone expects fast. And the second one was the name of my company and the second one was my name dumb. And they find it really hard to understand both of those things.