Roaming the noisy byways of TechCrunch Startup Alley I found a startup today that plans to create a new kind of mobile payment and loyalty platform. Yoyo has today – at Disrupt SF – announced it’s raised $1.2 million in a seed round to launch a platform designed to create – they say – a faster, simpler way to buy goods, via a mobile app, which also combines with an automatic loyalty point collection system. They plan to target high-volume, low-value transaction retailers. Think of the Starbucks mobile app and apply it to all retailers — this is Yoyo’s pitch.
Imperial Innovations Group, the technology investment group from Imperial College, put in an initial investment of $390,000. Yoyo will first launch in the autumn to students of Imperial College London — where 20,000 students and staff on its main London campus will buy, earn and share with Yoyo through 30 retail outlets — and at select London retailers.
For retailers, Yoyo integrates at the point of sale to provide information and intelligence the buying habits of its customers. Users customers get an app which means they can collect rewards from multiple retailers but don’t need to carry paper loyalty cards anymore – and also share these with their friends. It’s also possible to create a personalised marketing campaign via the app.
Yoyo was founded in 2013 by a team of entrepreneurs drawn from the ranks of Visa, Paypal and Barclaycard, including Alain Falys, co-founder of OB10, the world’s largest e-invoicing business; Dave Nicholson, co-founder of Zopa (a peer-to-peer lending platform in the UK); and Michael Rolph, who ran merchant acquisition teams at Paypal, BarclayCard and First Data.
Investors include Mathias Entenmann (former Head of Paypal International and ex CEO of Payback), the founders of early stage investment vehicle Firestartr (Chipper Boulas, Alain Falys, Anil Hansjee, Richard Muirhead), and former executives from Barclaycard, Worldpay, Visa, First Data and Western Union.
You can hear the Yoyo pitch at the beginning of this video: