Tech Pitch: Yoyo

With $5m seed funding, a Series A round underway and a founding team of seasoned entrepreneurs, Startups find out more about the payments app creating “better relationships” between retailers and consumers

Company name: Yoyo
Founders: Alain Falys (48), Michael Rolph (33) and Dave Nicholson (39)
Background: Falys founded OB10 and Omnis Mundi, Rolph is ex PayPal, Barclaycard and First Data and Nicholson is the co-founder of Zopa.
Based in: Wayra offices in London

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Yoyo is a mobile platform that seamlessly blends payments, loyalty and discovery to create better relationships between retailers and consumers. Users download Yoyo on the App Store or Google Play, and attach a funding method to top-up their account. Yoyo integrates into the retailer’s till system and uses a unique QR-code for each transaction, which is scanned at the point of sale using a scanner.

Users collect the loyalty points from each retail chain automatically in the app and can also receive offers and promotions from their favourite retailers direct into their phone. The platform gives retailers a set of tools which enables them to better target their customers with relevant rewards, offers and incentives, based on accurate profile and purchase history data.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

No one is doing what we are doing in the way we are doing it. Yoyo is the only app combining payment, loyalty and discovery to make mobile relevant for in-store retail. Mobile payments alone are not enough, to become active users, customers must be delivered maximum value which becomes possible via loyalty and discovery.

Using detailed “basket” data harvested from the POS and across retailers, the app enables merchants to make promotions to consumers more relevant, more timely, and thus more effective in driving sales. The app helps retailers communicate more personally with consumers via mobile and provides the fastest checkout experience. It also reduces the cost of payment for merchants and extracts value from its marketing engine powered by detailed transaction data.

Are you funded?

We’ve raised $5m seed funding from Imperial Innovations, Firestartr, angel investors and Telefonica Group. We are currently raising a Series  A round.

What were you doing before starting?

Falys is a serial tech entrepreneur, executive and investor, with an affinity for financial technology and e-commerce. Before Yoyo, he co-founded the largest electronic invoicing network OB10 in 2000, which listed on AIM to raise $255m. He also co-founded Omnis Mundi, an e-commerce incubator. Falys is former senior vice president at Visa International and a partner at European technology accelerator Firestartr.

Michael Rolph has held senior sales and strategy roles at Barclaycard Business, First Data and PayPal. Formerly a director at Anthemis Group, he has advised a number of companies in the payment space including Vocalink, Skrill, Regus and Hibu. Rolph is also a mentor at Seedcamp and an advisor to Azimo.

David Nicholson is the co-founder of peer-to-peer lender Zopa and previously worked at Egg.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

Being based in the Wayra UK offices has been great for us. Wayra has provided crucial introductions to investors and retailers and we have had the luxury to be surrounded by other start-ups and entrepreneurs.

London in general is a city with hundreds of universities and corporate head offices, which is ideal for our growth strategy of targeting closed communities.

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