South African fintech startup Yoco has launched the Yoco Go, a card machine targeting previously underserved small businesses that have not had access to card payment and point of sale (PoS) technologies.
At an event in Johannesburg marking its crossing of the 50,000 customer milestones, Yoco, which secured US$16 million Series B funding and launched a cash advance service late last year, said the new product was a response to the fact that only seven per cent of South African businesses accept card payments.
This limits the ability of these small business owners to grow their revenues, because they cannot accept card payments in a country where card penetration is over 75 per cent amongst adults. Yoco co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Katlego Maphai said the new Yoco Go card machine would radically lower barriers to entry for small businesses.
“The device will bring tap payments to all, allowing merchants to accept card payments with a fully-featured, safe, fast, and tap-enabled card machine for less than half the price of alternatives,” he said.
The introduction of the Yoco Go is a critical element of the startup’s growth strategy of doubling its merchant base over the next twelve months. Yoco also hopes the card machine will catalyse entrepreneurship.
“We are now in a position to provide an even broader base of small business owners with access to payment technologies never before affordable to them,” said Maphai.
Yoco has already grown rapidly since entering the market in late-2015 with 500 merchants on the platform, and it has made good on the plans shared when it raised its Series B round.
“Yoco’s focus as a technology company is on opening commerce by enabling entrepreneurs to get paid, run their businesses, and grow. We ultimately want people to thrive by being able to concentrate on what they do best,” said Maphai.
“A year ago, Yoco had a customer base of 27,000 merchants. After announcing our Series B funding, our mission intensified to improve access to underserved small businesses by growing our customer base nationwide and investing heavily in product development and scalability. In a market estimated to be more than one million small businesses, we are delighted to announce that Yoco’s customer base reached 50,000 merchants last week.”