Mobile wallet Yoyo raises $10m to take on US

Startups Top 20 company backed by Imperial Innovations and names behind TransferWise and Money 20/20

Mobile marketing platform Yoyo, listed among the 20 top new businesses of 2014, is set for overseas expansion after completing a $10m Series A round led by existing investor Imperial Innovations.

Leading names in financial technology (fintech) also backed the round including TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Money 20/20 founders Jonathan Weiner and Anil Aggarwal, Phillip Riese; former President of American Express Consumer Cards, and former TelecCity Group CEO Michael Tobin OBE.

Launched in January 2014 by Zopa co-founder Dave Nicholson, OB10 CEO Alain Falys and ex-PayPal Michael Rolph, Yoyo is a mobile wallet app which enables retailers to target customers with automated loyalty programmes, offers and marketing and lets consumers make quick and easy integrated payments directly from their mobiles.

The company uses transactional metadata to help businesses better understand their customers spending habits and behaviour and tailor marketing campaigns to regular customers.

Since launch, Yoyo has handled over 150,000 transactions, achieved 25% month-on-month growth, and is already live at 15 UK universities.

It now has the US market in its sights with plans to use the investment to target America's 21 million college students. The investment will also go towards the development of its new grey label programme “Powered by Yoyo” as well as “significant” expansion of its current team of 25 staff.

As part of the deal, American Express’ Riese has joined the company’s board.

Riese commented: “Winning mobile apps, like Uber and Starbucks, all provide a genuine advantage that works whenever and wherever the consumer needs and wants it. Like them Yoyo is entirely customer-focused, providing consumers with a really rewarding purchasing experience that happens to include mobile payment. And Yoyo's growth trajectory proves that their model is working.”

Discussing future plans for the company, Yoyo co-founder Falys added:

“Mobile payment is an incredibly noisy space that has largely lost sight of what matters to the consumer and the retailer. We believe the payment is only a vehicle to deliver value to the consumer and is not an end-in-itself. Well-conceived features that reward loyalty based on consumer preferences drive mobile payment adoption, as our growth clearly demonstrates.”


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