Fundraising for British mobile repayments app highlights power of VC investment

Yoyo raises £12m as fintech defies Brexit fears

Yoyo Wallet, the fast-growing British mobile repayments app, has raised £12m from investors such as the German merchant Metro Group and fund manager Neil Woodford to invest in its expansion in Europe while the United States.

The fundraising, that will be announced on Monday, highlights just how capital raising financial investment in European financial technology — or fintech — features defied concerns so it would fall prey to doubt around Brexit. 

Yoyo, which recently passed the milestone of processing above 1m monthly premiums for its 400,000 users, has grown rapidly since its creation four years ago as a mobile application to fund items in institution student unions. 

The app can be used to undertake payments in 1,700 outlets, including over 60 UK and Irish universities; the canteens of a few huge businesses such as JPMorgan Chase; and retailers such as for example Caffè Nero and Planet Organic. 

It permits customers to fund products using their cellular phone and keeps all their commitment card schemes updated immediately. Companies believe it is useful to track customer behaviour and to deliver personalised offers to them over the software. 

“We address a fundamental problem for merchants — they want to know their customers better,” stated Alain Falys, the previous Visa professional whom co-founded Yoyo. 

“We have combined the very best of Starbucks mobile experience with some great benefits of Tesco’s Clubcard system,” said Mr Falys. “We democratise the privilege of the extremely biggest stores like Walmart and Tesco for the stores and tiny boutiques.” 

He said that unlike finance companies — which find it difficult to tell a retailer just what products a person purchased — Yoyo permits all of them to create a profile of every customer. “You get to reach out and communicate eyeball-to-eyeball together with your clients.” 

The most recent fundraising, which takes the full total Yoyo has raised in three rounds to over £20m, may be familiar with finance the business’s development in the usa. “There is a large push in the US coming after this round,” stated Mr Falys. 

He additionally forecast that the EU’s inbound Payment Services Directive 2, forcing finance companies to permit third party repayment providers to gain access to their clients’ reports, would produce an opportunity for Yoyo to sidestep huge lenders and pass savings on to its customers. 

The organization has 60 staff and tens of an incredible number of pounds in incomes. It recently appointed as the president Phillip Riese, the previous president of United states Express credit cards, who's an investor in the business. Other investors consist of Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise. 

Hansjörg Sage, basic Manager at Metro Group’s digital device, stated: “We want to use Yoyo, leveraging its significant success within the UK, to help tailor and marketplace its supplying into the continental European market plus in certain, the long-tail of separate business owners.”

Its latest fundraising was also supported by Touchstone Innovations, the Aim-listed capital raising supply of Imperial College London. 

Capital raising investment in European fintechs hit a new record of more than $600m in the first quarter, relating to a recent report by KPMG. 

However, overall investment in fintech from VCs, exclusive equity and mergers and acquisitions fell greatly year-on-year to $3.2bn, triggering fears that trader interest the sector could have already peaked.