Mobile payment startup Yoyo seeks expansion after $10m investment

Yoyo has gained $10 million in a Series A funding round and is now looking to expand globally, sighting the US as its next location.

The University based payment app is growing at a strong rate, processing 150,000 monthly transactions using QR codes. These statistics make Yoyo the second-largest mobile wallet in Britain after coffee giant Starbucks.

Since Yoyo was founded in May 2013, over 15 British University’s including Imperial College London now use the service. This appetite for ‘closed partnerships’ increased in December 2014, when Yoyo partnered with the airline Air Asia, creating cashless payments for its customers.

Yoyo specifically targets Universities and closed environment. ‘‘We have built the best cashless loyalty solution for closed environments and disrupt the traditional closed-loop pre-paid industry.  Yoyo Wallet is free to implement, unlike closed-loop programs.  We focus on the user experience, which means people love using Yoyo Wallet on a daily basis.   That’s why we are processing hundreds of thousands of transactions across tens of thousands of users every month,’’ Yoyo co-founder Michael Rolph told Payment Eye.

After acquiring the $10m, Yoyo plan on increasing their 25 man workforce and look to expand to five American universities.

‘‘Naturally the US is an interesting market for us.  We see it as a noisy space, rather than crowded.  We believe our approach and product is the best out there – so watch this space,’’ said Rolph.

Although Yoyo’s team is small, there is a vast amount of experience within their leadership. Co-founder Alain Falys previously worked at Visa as an executive.

‘‘We are building a better product.  We are able to do this because we capture full basket data and automate other aspects of the transaction, like loyalty point collection and delivery of fully itemised digital receipts.  Clearly Apple Pay and others are able to generate a lot of noise, which is tough to compete with.  Instead, we are focused on making mobile relevant for retail to create a seamless buying experience that makes sense for both the retailer and the consumer.’’




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