Yoyo Wallet, an app that allows shoppers to make payments and earn loyalty rewards, has raised £12 million, bringing total investment in the UK startup to around £24 million.
The latest series B round, announced on Monday, was led by US wholesale and food retail giant Metro Group, asset management company Woodford Investment Management, and tech investor Touchstone Innovations. It is still subject to FCA approval.
Founded in 2013 and launched a year later, Yoyo operates in an increasingly crowded field of mobile apps that lets users pay for items with their smartphones. It also competes with Apple and Google, who have developed their own payment apps.
Yoyo started out by targeting students on university campuses across the UK through its smartphone app but it now targets employees working on large corporate campuses and people on the high street.
Yoyo processes payments using QR codes: The user preloads money onto the wallet, and then at the point of sale, a unique QR code is generated for each transaction. The retailer then scans the code to receive the payment. This doesn’t require proprietary technology, just a 2D barcode-scanner — already found in around 50% of retailers.
Shoppers like it because they can earn rewards for buying things — such as 20% off or a free coffee — and retailers like it because they can get valuable marketing insights.
The company claims to have more than 400,000 registered users and 1,700 retailers that accept its app.
If approved, the funding will be used to help Yoyo Wallet expand partnerships with UK high-street retailers, boost the consumer and retail capabilities of the platform, and grow across Europe.
“Yoyo is now delivering proven benefits to a rapidly growing number of merchants and their customers in universities, corporate campuses and the high street,” said Alain Falys, cofounder and CEO of Yoyo Wallet, in a statement.
He added: “This new funding will allow us to provide the benefits of customer identification and mobile engagement to a wider array of retailers, large and small, in the UK and across Europe. We could not have found a better combination of Investors to support us through this next stage of growth.”
Other investors include a number of figures from London’s Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of money transfer platform TransferWise, the founders of Money20/20, Philip Riese, former President of American Express Consumer Cards, and former TeleCity Group CEO Michael.
Hansjörg Sage, a general manager at Metro Group, added in a statement: “Yoyo has convinced a growing number of customers to deploy its data-driven payment and loyalty marketing solutions, including most recently, Caffè Nero, the third largest coffee retail chain in the UK.
“With its strong track record of deploying digital technology at the customer interface, Yoyo’s solution can have a meaningful positive impact on a wide spectrum of retail businesses, in particular in the food and beverage segment. As digitisation becomes mainstream in hospitality, Yoyo’s technology is a strong candidate for currently untapped market segments. As part of our engagement, Metro intends to contribute to this deployment.”
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