For many people, it is probably as important now as it has been in for a while to collect coupons, loyalty cards and find discounts whenever possible. It may be easier to do in the era of smartphones, but it can still be a challenge to find the right gift card without the app of a particular business. Ukrainian yoCard aims to tackle this issue by providing a singular app that allows users to find just the right card when you are at the register.
CEO and founder Maksim Masliy tells me that he once believed that businesses would be well-served by creating their own apps to offer discounts, but eventually decided that it would be better to create an app that groups businesses together and offers users easy access. Thus, several years ago, he created yoCard and it has proven to be a wise decision. Within the past few years, yoCard has picked up just over 41K users and currently over 600 special offers.
Masliy says that they have been able to find investors in part by speaking at events such as STARTUP.ua. He did not name names, but would say that all of their current financing comes from within Ukraine and that they have raised $300K to date.
The service is free to end-users and Masliy says that the company raises revenue through deals with retailers. Masliy tells me that they offer retailers a basic package with a limited set of features, but also provide a premium package with tools like a loyalty program, mobile discounts, cross campaigns, and more. In particular, Masliy highlights the ability for premium users to reach out to customers and to collaborate with other businesses.
Having been around for a couple of years, YoCard is thinking about moving beyond the Ukrainian market. Masliy says that they have already launched a project in Russia, but they have broader ambitions and are looking to enter the Israeli market and beyond.
In terms of competition, Gyft has proven particularly successful, having picked up hundreds of thousands of users through its mobile app, but the service is currently only available in the U.S.