You were both working on large projects. You could have carried on. Why stop?
Martyn Gould: The way consumers buy mobiles is broken. All over the world, consumers overpay as they don’t understand what they use and therefore cannot understand what to buy. It frustrated us both knowing that the market was broken and nothing was being done.
Paul Doyle: We wanted to achieve something that couldn’t be done by working on the same projects. We set up yboo to fix what we were seeing every single day.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you raise the cash?
Martyn: We (myself and Paul) used our own money to bootstrap the business in 2016 and 2017. In hard cash, we’ve receipts for over £70,000 covering everything from market research to branding to product development, hosting and licences.
To keep yboo growing, I stopped working in January 2017 and used my life savings to pay my bills for the whole of that year. That was another £68,000.
We secured external seed funding of £150,000 in February of 2018 which lead to follow on rounds from our existing investors.
How did you set it up?
Paul: It wasn’t easy it the current climate but it came down to a three step process.
- We needed to make sure we understood the progression path from App MVP to an actual commercial product. Whilst I lead the negotiations with mobile operators, we chose to find a Digital Marketing specialist to make sure we could test digital channels effectively and get product feedback.
- After that, we needed to build both an iOS App and our presence in the Marketplace so we started to build a small development team and a small marketing team.
- Later, post debt funding, we were able to move focus to our SaaS offering whilst simultaneously adding phones to our App so we chose to focus on building out scaling and other technical capabilities
What’s it like to be responsable for a team?
Both: Empowering, scary, challenging, amazing, frustrating.
What’s next for yboo?
Martyn: Well, we’ve now got to deliver between 6 and 8 of those SaaS contracts so we need to scale! We need to move premises, expand the team, invest in some scaling tech whilst growing our consumer base.
Paul: We also need to forge indirect sales channels for both products and probably raise some capital. So you know, not that much really! Seriously, it’s a really exciting time for us and the hard work my team puts into everything is starting to pay off.