In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Domm Holland from Fast, a one click online login and checkout experience. Originally from Australia, Domm recently moved his family over to San Francisco to chase his vision.
Domm talks us through how he came up with the idea for Fast and created a working prototype in 48 hours, how he secured a Co-founder and investors using Twitter and why he thinks Australian retail is actually leading the way on the global stage.
“It’s like the nirvana of online shopping“Domm Holland
Questions answered in this episode include…
- How did the idea for Fast come about?
- How quickly is Fast growing?
- Who do you look up to and admire in retail?
- How do the US and Australian markets compare when it comes to tech innovation?
How the idea for Fast came about?
When Domm’s youngest child was in hospital, his wife’s grandmother came to the house to help out. One day, while she was sitting in the kitchen ordering groceries from Coles, she forgot her password and was not able to log in. She just couldn’t remember what it was and ended up not getting her shopping done. This frustrated Domm, so he started working on a solution…as you do.
Amazingly, in just 48 hours, Domm had built a prototype for a password authentication system and made a feature to enable one click log in for the entire internet – so once you use it once on one site, you get one click login to every other site. Domm figured there’s no good reason to make you go through that process again, the internet already knows who you are. After Domm uploaded his prototype to ProductHunt, a website for tech innovations by independent makers, and saw huge interest, he started to realise the massive opportunity he was sitting on. He didn’t take it any further straight away – the timing wasn’t right – but pretty soon, it became impossible to ignore the voice inside him telling him to go for it.
“In about February last year I thought I just can’t, I just can’t not, I have to, it’s huge, it’s the way the web should look, it’s so stupid seeing every day you have to use a password, every day you have to fill in a form, every day you have to checkout and go through this terrible process, it just screams at you how much the web needs this.”
How fast (ahem) is Fast growing?
Domm and his Co-founder, Allison Barr Allen, started Fast in November 2019 and today they have about 70 employees and expect to be up around 80 by the end of 2020.
“We are one of the fastest growing companies in the world, we’re definitely one of the fastest growing companies in the Bay area, maybe the fastest growing company in Silicon Valley”
Does Fast make a difference for retailers?
“If you’ve got a ten step process you’ve got alot of areas for you to drop off, if you’ve got a one click checkout, there’s not many areas for somebody to drop off, so it makes sense why the conversion rate would go up so much.”
“We’ve been consistently driving conversion uplifts immediately within days, typically within the first day, of well upwards of 25% increase and these are for stores doing over $100m and we drive conversion up 60% for stores doing tens of millions or single digit millions, so it is amazing the difference it makes to businesses.”
Domm on Australia & US Markets
Domm chose San Francisco as the place to start his business, believing the company couldn’t have achieved what they have in Australia. The US will remain their focus for the next six months. It’s a market that is 13 times the size of Australia, so it can support much larger businesses at the same level of impact he would’ve had in trying to service local markets. More investors in the US can support a much larger growth
Another key reason to choose the US was talent. Most of the engineers in the world who build large consumer networks in businesses that support billions of people are based in San Francisco or the Bay Area. It was a no brainer for Domm.
However, while the US is a leader in terms of scale, Domm reckons that Australia is definitely more tech forward and cites the massive portals such as www.domain.com.au and www.carsales.com.au which Aussies pioneered as evidence of that.
“We just really started shopping for cars, shopping for apartments, shopping for houses online well before other parts of the world…we were always like very early adopters.”