Yoyo Strings $5 Million Investment, Expands U.K. Campus Presence (May 27, 2014)
The European mobile payments market continues to draw the interest of investors, with London-based mobile payment and loyalty app Yoyo landing $5 million in seed investment. Led by Imperial Innovations Plc, the investment comes just weeks after Swedish m-POS provider iZettle scored €40 million (US$55.5 million) in Series C funding.
Founded in 2013, Yoyo offers a downloadable app that enables users to make POS payments via QR codes, manage loyalty programs and receive direct offers from merchants. The company has targeted U.K. college students in its initial rollout, debuting earlier this year at Imperial College London’s South Kensington campus. Since launch, more than 30 area retail outlets have signed on and more than 4,000 students have downloaded the app, according to the company. Yoyo soon will expand to two additional London colleges, the University of Westminster and the University of Greenwich, which together serve more than 50,000 students and faculty members.
Payment providers on both sides of the Atlantic have begun offering college students mobile payment products designed for use on and around campus. In April, Heartland Payment Systems launched its OneCard Mobile app, which combines mobile payments with student ID and building-access functions. Campuses also are serving as test labs for emerging payments technology. Late last year, Blackboard Inc. began piloting an NFC-based mobile payment service at Tulane University and Quinnipiac University. That launch followed the October announcement that m-POS startup LoopPay Inc. had signed a deal to distribute its mobile wallet to college students through Campus Nation Network. The LoopPay wallet uses magnetic resonance technology to replicate a card swipe at the POS when a mobile phone is held over the swipe slot on a payment terminal.
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