London, 26th June 2017: Yoyo Wallet, Europe’s fastest growing mobile payment and customer engagement platform, today announced a £12 million Series B round, led by the digitalisation and investment arm of the METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company, an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail with ca. €37 billion in annual turnover, with additional investment from Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations. The deal is subject to FCA approval.
Yoyo Wallet, launched in 2013, helps retailers drive business growth via mobile-first customer engagement. Through the Yoyo app or via retailer-specific branded apps built and powered by Yoyo, the company helps retailers to know, influence and simplify their customer’s purchasing behaviours whilst providing an engaging customer experience. Yoyo’s platform provides a combination of fast and simple-to-use mobile ordering, payments, and personalised loyalty programs, all backed by an analytics and campaign platform for retailers.
Following the success of Caffè Nero’s launch of a Yoyo-powered mobile app across 640 stores in the UK and Ireland, this latest round will help the London-based company expand partnerships with UK high-street retailers, further expand the consumer and retail capabilities of its platform, and power its international expansion, with Europe as an initial target.“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, Co-Founder and CEO of Yoyo Wallet. “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.”
Yoyo allows retailers of all sizes to provide their customers with a best-in-class branded mobile experience, whilst customising their offerings from the array of available Yoyo services. For a restaurant chain, for example, this could include order from table, pay from table, pre-ordering, pay at counter, all with embedded proprietary rewards schemes. Retailers “know” their customers and can provide rewards and offers on their customer’s phone, either at point of sale, or at any point of time through the relationship. Retailers save time, money and resources both in not having to develop their own mobile experience or app, and in not having to make modifications over time to continue to be best-in-class in a world of rapidly changing technology.
Yoyo had previously raised Seed and Series A rounds totalling £8.7 million powering their growth in the UK Education, Corporate and High Street sectors; generating more than 400,000 registered users; and an acceptance network in excess of 1,700 outlets including Caffè Nero and Planet Organic. The recently launched Caffè Nero app went straight to number 1 in the UK iOS and Android Food and Drink app charts in April this year.
Falys adds: “Consumers are spending more than three hours a day on their smartphones and 40% buy more when subject to a personalised shopping experience. Yoyo simply provides all retailers with an accessible way of tapping into these behaviours.”
Hansjörg Sage, General Manager at the digital unit of METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company, said of the deal: “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 digitization 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.”
James Hook, Partner at METRO GROUP’s digital unit and to-be-elected board member of Yoyo Wallet, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Yoyo in its ambition to become the leading digital mobile payment and customer engagement platform. We are looking forward to working together with Alain and the rest of the Yoyo team to help support the development of Yoyo’s business.”
* Deal subject to FCA approval
Yoyo Wallet is the fastest growing and largest multi-retailer mobile wallet in Europe. Now in its 4th year, Yoyo Wallet powers retailer experiences across the UK on the high street, in universities and in corporate locations. It was recently chosen by Marketing Week as one of the Top 100 Disruptor Brands and by KPMG as one of 50 FinTechs to watch globally.
The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading player in wholesale and foodservice distribution. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people around the world. In 2015/16, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. More information is available at www.metrogroup.de and wfsco.metrogroup.de/
Woodford is a fast-growing asset management company built on a founding philosophy of transparency and simplicity. Launched in May 2014, the company has more than £17.5bn assets under management. Further information can be found at https://woodfordfunds.com
Touchstone Innovations plc (formerly Imperial Innovations Group plc or just “Innovations”) creates, builds and invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities developed from outstanding scientific research from the 'Golden Triangle', the geographical region broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford.
This area has an unrivalled cluster of outstanding academic research and technology businesses, and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, as well as leading research institutions, the cream of the UK’s science and technology businesses and many of its leading investors.
Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas through protecting and licensing out intellectual property (through its Technology Transfer subsidiary, Imperial Innovations Limited), by leading the formation of new companies, by recruiting high calibre management teams and by providing investment and encouraging co-investment. Innovations remains an active investor over the life of its portfolio companies, with the majority of Innovations’ investment going into businesses in which it is already a shareholder.
Since becoming a public company in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £440 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, post period end the Group has drawn down the outstanding £50.0 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) taking the total loan to £80.0 million.
Between Innovations’ admission to AIM (August 2006) and 31 January 2017, Innovations has invested a total of £335.7 million across its portfolio companies, which have collectively raised investment of £1.5 billion.