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Yoyo closes second tranche of USD5m seed funding round

Yoyo, a London-based mobile payment and loyalty app, has raised USD5m in seed funding, one of Europe's largest seed funding rounds this year.

Founded less than a year ago, the start-up is rolling out at the University of Westminster and University of Greenwich, which together serve over 50,000 students, visitors and faculty members across London.
 
The investment was led by technology commercialisation and investment group Imperial Innovations Plc, with co-investments from Firestartr, a new digital venture platform, and Telefonica Group. Notable angel investors brought into the round by Firestartr include Barry Smith, co-founder of Skyscanner; Mathias Entenmann, former managing director of PayPal Europe and Paypal International; and John Chaplin, former executive vice president at Visa Europe.
 
Founded in 2013 by Alain Falys (founder of OB10, ex Visa), Dave Nicholson (founder of Zopa, ex Egg) and Michael Rolph (ex PayPal, Barclaycard and First Data), Yoyo aims to create a better customer experience using an app which simplifies and speeds up in-store transactions by combining payment and loyalty via one easy scan. 
 
The app, which was released earlier this year, is already handling over 30,000 transactions per month across 32 food and drinks outlets at Imperial College London. In addition to the University of Greenwich and University of Westminster, Yoyo plans to announce further partnerships with universities and high-street retailers Yoyo over the coming months. 
 
For retailers, Yoyo provides a marketing platform that enables digital customer engagement in-store. The platform gives retailers a set of tools which enable them to better target their customers with relevant rewards, offers and incentives.
 
The funding will be used to fuel Yoyo’s growth plans over the next 12 months, cementing its position in the UK before expanding into the US and European markets.
 
The company is looking to raise a Series A later in the year.
 
Jon Edington, investment director, Imperial Innovations, says: “We have supported Yoyo since its formation and we’re delighted to see the progress it has made so far at Imperial College London. Yoyo has the potential to address a large international market and we are keen to support its experienced management team through the company’s expansion.”

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