Austin financial tech startup Dosh lands $40 million to expand  

Financial tech startup Dosh has closed on $40 million in new funding to expand its app for finding cash and deals.

Founded in 2016, the Austin company has developed a free app and digital platform that gives consumers cash back on debit and credit card purchases when they shop, eat and travel.

Dosh executives say they want to enable millions of consumers to receive billions in cash rebates delivered through its online platform. The company says it has given back $50 million to millions of consumers who are members of its program.

The Dosh platform was developed to offer high security and ease of use to consumers and ease of tracking for merchants, who can see the details of how the cash-back program enables them to attract new customers and make added sales.

The Dosh app works like this: Users connect a debit or credit card to their account in the app, which is downloadable at Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

When users buy something with the card at restaurants, stores, airlines or other merchants that offer deals through Dosh, they get an automatic cash back rebate. The size of the rebate depends on the deal the merchant offers.

The app includes more than 150,000 brands and merchants. As users make purchases, the app learns about their preferences and suggests places to shop.

Dosh said it will use the new funding to accelerate product development, create personalized experiences for consumers and hire new employees. The company currently has 112 employees and expects to be at 160 people by the end of 2019.


Ashes to diamonds: Austin startup finds unusual way to remember loved ones

Days after Florian Oger was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live, his wife met Adelle Archer, the co-founder of an Austin startup that turns cremated ashes into diamonds. Rather than be buried, Oger would become a diamond.

The Austin-based family met with Archer, the 28-year-old co-founder of Eterneva, to discuss different colors and shapes for the lab-grown diamonds.

Eterneva, founded in 2017 by Archer and Garrett Ozar, extracts carbon from roughly half a cup of ashes and then puts the purified carbon through an extreme pressure and heat environment to grow each diamond. It’s one of a handful of companies worldwide that offer the service.

The company has made more than 200 diamonds for family members and pets, but Archer said her consultation with Oger marked the first time she’s met with someone about their end-of-life plans before they died. Eterneva’s emphasis toward customization is a personal one.

As Archer was getting into the lab-grown diamond business, her close friend and business mentor, Tracey Kaufman, died. After researching online and not finding anything special enough for her and that really resonated with her. A dinner with a scientist changed that. He mentioned off-hand that it was possible to extract carbon from ashes and grow a diamond.

That’s how one of Eterneva’s first clients became Archer herself. The company, which creates diamonds ranging from $2,400 to $20,000, made a black diamond emerald cut with Kaufman’s ashes.

From a business perspective, founding a company that focused on end-of-life decisions made sense, said Archer.

Eterneva is “bootstrapped,” or self-funded, and has six employees, but Archer expects the company to expand its employee headcount and obtain outside funding in 2019. The company currently uses a carbon purification facility in Pennsylvania and grows its diamonds in Germany, but Archer said the company will bring some of those operations in-house soon.

And although cremations have made headlines for emitting harmful greenhouse gases, Archer isn’t worried about her business. Eterneva can also make diamonds with hair or ashes created through aquamation — a cremation process that uses a water solution to break down remains.