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Access to Finance

Funding advice boosts investment and employment for innovative app firm

The Overview

Originating in Manchester, mobile app business yboo came to the Access to Finance team seeking help in raising £250,000 to support growth and expansion of their business.

yboo was founded in 2015 by Martyn Gould and Paul Doyle, drawing on a combined 40 years in the telecoms industry to create a mobile app that saves the average consumer around £156 on their mobile phone bill each year.

When a user downloads the yboo app and then uses their phone as normal, their phone usage is analysed to provide recommendations for the best mobile plan based on their usage.

The Challenge

yboo had a strong initial product offering, but needed financial support to develop the product further and take it to market.

New investment would also help them to launch a polished B2B product that provides UK mobile operators with anonymised data allowing them to understand their target audience’s behaviours.

The Solution

yboo was introduced to the Access to Finance team and GC Angels in May 2017 through an independent funding professional. They completed the Access to Finance investment readiness programme, helping them to shorten and sharpen their pitch to potential investors. Working closely with their Access to Finance advisor, they were ready to pitch in front of our angel network. yboo secured £150,000 investment for a 15% stake in the company from our event, with the option to get a further £100,000 for an additional 5% if needed.

Martyn Gould describes the GC Angels network as “pivotal” to yboo’s development, explaining that their new B2B platform “wouldn’t be alive today without that funding”. Within two months of securing that angel investment, yboo had closed two deals with UK mobile operators and have ten more in the pipeline. yboo has also moved into its first real office, launched on iOS, improved its Android product, and employed seven part-time staff at above the Living Wage.

One of the most valuable things yboo has gained from the GC Angels process is securing investors that are, according to Martyn, “very active in a positive, supportive and motivational way”. Although from a different industry, the investors have provided essential insight and direction to move them towards operating internationally, and the team appreciate the experience from different sectors.

Most recently, yboo has secured a further £2 million investment from Angelfish Investments PLC and plans to expand its footprint internationally. Martyn added “yboo was approached by a large price comparison site, which was very interested in acquiring us. However, at the moment we’re focused on building yboo ourselves, particularly focusing on expanding our international footprint.”

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