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Two mates in a pub who set out to get everyone a better deal

Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
July 18, 2018

Matching consumer behaviour with the best SIM-only offer is what yboo is all about, says its CEO

After almost a year of reports that MVNOs are becoming increasingly popular with money-smart consumers, the market is, arguably, set to be one of the biggest growth areas in the industry.

Deciphering the best on the market are yboo but, as co-founder and CEO Martyn Gould tells Mobile News, yboo is more than just a comparison platform.

Who is yboo?

yboo (‘you’re better off on’) is a tech organisation based in Holmfirth on the edge of the Peak District and, in a nutshell, we solve the problem of knowing which SIM- only deal is best for consumers by matching their habits and behaviour to the best offer on the UK market.

Consumers can also use our app to sign up to a new plan with a given provider through the app.

Why is the service necessary?

Busy people just don’t have time to view bills, calculate usage and then use multiple price comparison sites to get the best deal. We’re all human and we’d rather do something more productive with that time.  We offer them a single version of the truth without favouring any specific operator. Anyone who downloads the Android or iOS app can sit back and let us do all the hard work for them.   

What inspired the creation of the company?

Myself and Paul Doyle (chief technology officer) came up with the idea for yboo in a pub in Manchester in 2015. We were inspired by Ofcom figures that showed mobile phone users were overpaying by £159 a year and created a unique product which solves a real problem. We started with an Android product and are now improving that to make it comparable to iOS and, once that is done, our real growth plan kicks in. 

How does the service help end users and how is it better than the competition?

Price comparison websites leave you to your own devices when it comes to guessing how many minutes, messages and gigabytes you really need. The process is very manual and time consuming.

There may be some digging to find the last few months’ bills, maybe even a spreadsheet to do some maths. Then there’s the guesswork, the decision based on price only without taking into consideration signal strength and the switching process. What the yboo app does instead is monitors the way you use your phone and within 24 hours figures out which providers and plans are best for you. Then it’s just a tap away to get switching.

How are you different to other comparison websites?

Although yboo may at first appear to be yet another comparison site it definitely is not. We also work with mobile operators and consultants to help them understand UK consumer behaviour in more detail with the information we gather through the yboo app. Our recommendations are not just based on price but on multiple variables. The app collects the user data and passes it onto our computer in real time. Our algorithms working in the background, are analysing the user data and interpreting it to recommend the best mobile phone plan for that particular user. yboo is perfect for all savvy consumers who just want what they need, no more and no less, for a reasonable price and paired with a reliable service.

How can other businesses profit from working with yboo?

Our B2B clients, with the help of yboo, can view, analyse and utilise consumer data they could not access by any other means. Operators need our ‘Big Data’ service to understand their target audiences, rank their products against the market and create products that increase connections and compete with other providers. Operator and consultancy clients also get access to anonymised consumer data, linked to the ranking of recommendations and they can better understand why consumers don’t buy. There is no-one like us on the market at the moment. 

How have you helped MVNOs in the past?

A UK-based virtual operator, came to us because it was struggling to deal with high subscriber acquisition costs. It was having a hard time breaking through to the audience it was targeting because the competition had bigger marketing budgets. We gave them a report including real usage profiles and the position of the MVNO at the time and recommended a way to appear in the top three recommendations for consumers on the app and how to target certain types of people. After coming to us they had the ability to test new propositions and pricing in the UK market and increased its sales as a result.

What are some of the findings from the insights you produce?

Amongst other insights we found that minor tweaks to the propositions that are offered to consumers can instantly change how competitive the offer is. Interestingly, we also found that wholesale costs only matter if your target audience are consuming the majority of an allowance. For example, the average yboo user consumes 151.21 voice minutes per month.

Have you worked with companies other than MVNOs?

We helped out a mobile network aggregator, also in the UK. It had no access to network usage data across multiple networks and therefore lacked insight into the market in terms of consumer behaviour and usage in the UK and abroad over text, calls, data over cellular and data over WiFi. We provided a data set and commentary including a framework for proposition building and cost/margin analysis.

What have you got planned for the future?

We recently received a £2 million investment from our investors, including Angelfish, and are now demoing our self- service portal in the next seven days and have
a strong future roadmap for this product. We will be adding functionality every week. We are also working hard on a reward scheme to give customers that bit extra for trusting us, switching with us and recommending us to their friends and family.

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