Yoyo appoints co-founder Michael Rolph as new CEO, as Alain Falys steps up to chairman
Yoyo co-founder and chief product officer Michael Rolph has been appointed CEO of the company with immediate effect. Alain Falys, co-founder and former CEO, has stepped up to become chairman of Europe’s fastest-growing mobile payment and loyalty marketing platform.
Michael Rolph has been driving product, design and engineering as Yoyo’s chief product officer since January 2016 and previously ran its Sales and Marketing teams.
He has been instrumental in bringing to market a payment and loyalty-marketing platform that has transformed the way large retailers like Caffè Nero and Planet Organic engage with their customers and which is also used in over 300 corporate offices and 70 universities in the UK.
As CEO he will now also be responsible for implementing the company’s strategy for the next phase of its growth as Yoyo targets a 10x increase in transaction volume in 18 months and aims to be the loyalty-marketing platform of choice for retailers who want to harness the power of customer data.
Alain Falys, an experienced fintech entrepreneur, co-founded the business four years ago with Michael Rolph and David Nicholson. He becomes chairman with responsibility for key external relationships, strategic expansion opportunities as well as chairing and managing the board of directors.
Falys and Rolph’s combined industry experience and vision for retailer loyalty marketing has helped drive Yoyo’s growth and transform the company from a burgeoning start-up into one of the UK’s most successful fintech firms.
The appointments come at an exciting time for the company. Yoyo raised £12 million this year and has signed up partnerships with leading retail chains such as Caffè Nero, Harris + Hoole and Planet Organic, with several more significant deals in the pipeline. The company currently powers nearly 2 million mobile transactions each month, representing a 250% percent increase of usage for its platform over the past year.
“Over the past four years, Michael and I have taken Yoyo from an idea to the point where it is now recognised as the leading retailer loyalty platform in the UK and, increasingly, internationally. The Yoyo team has achieved a great deal during that time, and under Michael’s leadership as CEO, our success will only continue to grow” said Falys.
Phillip Riese, former chairman of Yoyo and an ongoing board member, said: “Alain and Michael have been a perfectly synergistic team since they founded Yoyo in 2013, and Yoyo’s leadership position on the market and traction to date reflect that. Over the last few months they have formulated a division of responsibilities that works brilliantly, and these appointments simply formalise the way the business is operating so successfully today. Together they will drive Yoyo to even greater heights.”
Rolph added: “I am honoured to take on the responsibilities of CEO. We are living in a time where mobile first retail is beginning to take hold and I am excited to be at the helm of such a talented team at Yoyo who are working tirelessly to deliver value to our customers and users everyday.
“Together with Alain, we will continue to build on Yoyo’s foundation of profitable growth, as we secure new partnerships on the high street and move into an open banking world, becoming natural leaders in omni-channel loyalty marketing, whilst helping retailers super-charge the power of their data.”
Board member Jon Edington of Touchstone Innovations said: “This is a perfect time for Michael to become Yoyo’s new CEO. He is a strong, passionate leader who’s mix of vision and drive is perfectly suited to take Yoyo through this next stage of rapid growth. We are also thrilled to have Alain’s continued involvement as chairman. His leadership has been integral in taking Yoyo from an idea to where it is today as one of Europe’s leading fintech companies.”
Yoyo enables customers to automatically reap the benefits of retailer-specific loyalty programmes every time they use Yoyo – and as of January 2018 their bank card – in high street stores, business canteens and university campuses across the UK.
Yoyo currently delivers a seamless mobile payment and loyalty app experience for consumers at more than 2,000 retail outlets across the UK and Ireland.
At the same time, Yoyo provides retailers with the tools to better engage, reward and retain their customers via mobile, and personalise the loyalty experience by linking customer identity to their basket data.