Ghana’s Loystar is a mobile loyalty app for merchants

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Ghanaian startup Loystar is making it easy for merchants to design and run loyalty programmes for their customers with or without smartphones.

Launched by Ayo Dawodu, Paul Damalie and Laud Bruce-Tagoe, who met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Loystar is a mobile app that helps merchants keep their customers coming back using loyalty programmes.

The app allows merchants to easily design and run loyalty programmes, with customers able to earn points by spending at merchant stores and redeem them for a deal or reward. It is already being used by a number of restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as fashion and beauty stores, with users now creeping past 800.

Loyalty programmes can be put together in less than five minutes, without the need to buy items associated with traditional loyalty systems such as cards and key rings. Customers, meanwhile, can interface via SMS, meaning there is no need to own a smartphone.

Dawodu told Disrupt Africa Loystar’s vision was to be a pan-African loyalty network, where consumers across African countries can be rewarded for their loyalty and merchants empowered to understand their customers’ needs.

“Our primary goal is to help businesses and brands build customer loyalty by improving customer retention using loyalty programmes,” he said.

The startup was formed to address issues with customer service and high marketing costs, with Dawodu saying it has been received well by both customers and the startup ecosystem. Loystar has been selected for both DEMO Africa and SpeedUPAfrica.

“We are close to 100 merchants, mostly in Accra, but also with a few from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Kenya, South Africa, Malaysia and Philippines,” he said. “We have expansion plans, we are studying various markets with potential.”

Loystar has no external funding, having been bootstrapped from the early stages while also receiving entrepreneurial training support from MEST. Yet it is making revenues.

“We deliver Loystar as a service to merchants for a monthly service charge. We’ve got three plans merchants can choose from based on the size of their customer base,” Dawodu said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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