From the time that it launched in February 2013, Yatango has set about disrupting the Australian telecommunications market with its SIM only mobile phone service. Its software as a service model enables customers to construct their own mobile call and SMS packages on a no-contract basis. That way, they can tailor their usage and pay only for what they need.
Billed as the world’s first ‘social telco’, Yatango took advantage of the emerging trend towards collaborative consumption exemplified in successful US startups such as Airbnb and Uber. Originally open to Facebook users only, it set itself apart from the competition by enabling its customers to connect with their Facebook friends at significantly reduced call rates. Additional benefits, such as phone credits, were earned by recruiting Facebook friends to join Yatango. The company also did away with call centres, instead allowing its members to answer support questions via the network’s online self-service forum. Every question answered successfully by a member qualified them for still more phone credits!
In 2014 Yatango expanded it’s community-based offering to include an e-commerce platform selling retail products from major lifestyle and technology brands. In addition to accessing exclusive benefits and discounted prices, the platform, known as Yatango Shopping, makes it possible for members to earn rewards for getting family and friends to join. The range of items offered for sale has since expanded to include:
|– Mobile Phones||– Tablets|
|– Cameras||– Watches|
|– Gaming Consoles||– Shoes|
|– Sunglasses||– Cosmetics|
|– And many more…|
Plus, Yatango Shopping was proud to be one of the first Australian e-commerce businesses to accept Bitcoin (via CoinBase).
Having experienced significant growth in the 2+ years since its successful Australian launch, Yatango is generating annualised revenue of more than A$20 million. It now has its sights set on new markets. Late last year it raised an estimated A$9 million from institutional investors and has recently announced plans to list on the ASX in June this year. In the process the company will raise a further A$6 million – representing just over 22% of the company.
With funding secured, its focus will then turn to increasing local marketing efforts, expanding its product range and building towards the soft launch of its service in both the UK and US markets.
Later this year, Yatango also has plans to introduce a retail banking offering to Australian customers. And why not? Company founder and chief executive Andy Taylor has pedigree as a co-founder of peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne. Coined ‘Yatango Money’, the business is expected to involve debit card and line-of-credit financial products. In the words of Mr Taylor, “It’s no different to how a credit union works and in some ways we are trying to recreate that model”.
With big plans and their eyes on big markets, Yatango is one consumer tech company that appears to have a very bright future.