Who are you?
I’m Martyn Gould and I’m the Founder and CEO of yboo. I’m a genuine Founder in that myself and my Co-Founder (Paul Doyle) bootstrapped yboo and got a product to market with our own time, brains and money.
Before the rollercoaster of yboo, I was a Consultant in the Telecom industry delivering huge change management programmes.
I helped Sky Mobile launch in the UK for example.
I’ve always helped big organisations to deliver more products to get more customers and earn more money. I’ve worked all over the world so I have been really lucky.
What are you working on?
We match UK consumers (people) to the best mobile phone deal for them based on price and signal strength. No faff, no forms, no fuss.
We help mobile operators understand and connect more via our Big Data SaaS proposition. Both of these products were born out of our ‘why’.
We believe consumers should be given the truth with no gimmicks and no effort required.
We believe Mobile Operators should have the opportunity to understand everything about a consumer before they click the ‘buy now’ button. Everything we do is focussed on these key beliefs.
How have you funded the business to date?
Funding has been a 3-stage process:
- 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 – all for our App MVP.
- 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. A buy-out offer from a large price comparison site allowed us to raise debt funding later that same year.
How have you built your team?
Paul and I started the company. Again, a 3-stage process. Can you see the theme here?
- 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
We outsource all ‘commodity’ activities and we still have a team of 14 people covering everything we do.
What do the next 12-18 months look like?
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.
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.
Why did you join Techcelerate?
We joined Techcelerate to raise our profile in the UK consumer, SaaS, media and investment space.
We want people to understand us and our products and tell us what we need to change so we can grow. We’re big fans of listening before broadcasting!