Monday, March 28, 2011/
Founders: Rohan Gamble
Revenue: $1.4 million
Year started: 2008
Head Office: New South Wales
“Envision what Amazon did to books, what TripAdvisor did to travel, what Seek did to employment or what Realestate.com.au did to real estate,” says Mozo founder Rohan Gamble.
“They all created a marketplace. A marketplace which provides consumers with all they need to make a buying decision and sellers with a ready-made, cost-efficient pool of customers. This is what Mozo delivers in financial services.”
Gamble is making headway on achieving hisbold claim. Following its launch in October 2008, Gamble says that, thanks in part to a deal with Fairfax Digital that allows Mozo to power all of its financial sites, more than 200,000 people visit its main and subsidiary online portals each month. A further 5,000 people ‘Like’ the service on Facebook.
Mozo works by offering free online financial information and comparison services to consumers. Financial products ranging from credit cards to car loans are rated by users on topics such as interest rates and customer service.
Gamble says that the service offers a solution to the “confusing and complex retail banking maze” to consumers, while offering warm leads to financial institutions at the same time.
The creation of the business was perhaps prescient – the global financial crisis hit shortly after launch, turning the world’s attention onto money matters.
The downturn had a severe impact upon Mozo, as Gamble explains: “Overnight, capital dried up, consumer sentiment towards bank security changed, and retail banking competition was flattened as the big banks consolidated their positions.”
“Suddenly, the revenue model of our start-up, based on a healthy and competitive retail banking marketplace seeking to acquire new customers – seemed a little out of place. So, we did what we had to. We revised our launch plans and lowered our cost base.”
“We turned to PR and social media channels to build the brand rather than more expensive mainstream online advertising. We scaled right back on costs.”
“For example, we decked out our entire office from eBay and cut back on technology costs by utilising Google’s free Apps for email, documents and the like.”
“We also had to make some tough calls on staff and make things work with less people. While we wouldn’t want to relive this time again in a hurry, we are actually now better off because of the decisions the GFC forced us to make.”