April 18, 2015
London based Mobile Wallet app ‘Yoyo’ raised $10 million in Series A funding as it prepares for expansion to the US. Initially, it had raised $1.2 million and $3.7 million in seed rounds during 2013 and 2014 which was led by Imperial Innovations, an affiliation of Imperial College. Other investors for the funding are Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, founders of Money 20/20 and others.
Though there are many companies offering mobile wallet services, Yoyo distinguishes itself by focusing mainly on university campuses. It was first launched in Imperial college of London followed by 15 other universities in Britain. At the universities where the app has rolled out, it accounts for about 25-50% of all transactions on campus. The company currently processes 150,000 monthly transactions which makes it the second largest mobile wallet in Britain, second only to Starbucks.
Yoyo is a mobile payment application combined with an automatic loyalty point collection system. User downloads Yoyo app from GooglePlay or App Store and links the card with the app. After this, the user can preload money anytime and make payments using a unique QR code generated for each transaction and receive loyalty points with the transactions. This app was created to provide a better experience for customers by simplifying and speeding up in-store transactions, combining payment and loyalty points in one scan. Yoyo also provides a marketing platform for retailers to enable digital customer engagement in-store. In this, the retailers gain access to a set of tools that enables them to target their customers through loyalty rewards, offers and incentives.
Yoyo was founded in 2013 by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, Alan Falys - founder of OB10, Dave Nicholson - founder of Zopa and Michael Rolph. The team has also drawn its experience from companies like Visa, Egg, Paypal, Barclaycard and FirstData. Though the company’s main focus is on universities, they have started extending their services to high street chains such as Fernandez & Wells and Hummus Bros as part of their expansion program.