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Money for nothing? $1mn for app that says 'Yo' to your friends

Published time: June 19, 2014 15:06
A screenshot from justyo.co

A screenshot from justyo.co

Less really is more and the “Yo” app proves it. This two-tap, one-word app has raised $1 million and reached 50,000 users, but it does not do anything except sends ‘Yo’ to your friends. Over 4 million Yo messages have been sent since its launch.

It took Israeli citizen Or Arbel just eight hours to write the app and launch it on April’s Fool Day. But the success was more than a joke. Arbel has now quit his job as chief technology officer of stock trading platform Stox and is moving to San Francisco to work on Yo full time.

Convinced that Yo has a bright and prosperous future, Arbel plans to open an office, hire more staff (so far Yo is managed by a team of four) and attract “strategic partners” to develop his “single-tap zero character communication tool.”

All you need is just to download the app, which is available for both iOS and Android, add your friends and greet them with just one tap.

"People think it's just an app that says 'Yo.' But it's really not," he told The New York Times.

Arbel says the success is in the app’s simplicity. For example, to send a WhatsApp text, one of the most popular messengers, acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, it takes 10 and more taps. But with the Yo app, it takes only two taps.

Yo has been supported by a group of investors led by Moshe Hogeg, CEO of image-sharing app Mobli, who has invested $1 million.

Arbel says Yo could be interesting for brands and companies, Thinkprogress reports. For example, if you favorite shoe brand has a sale, to notify you it would just have to “Yo” you.

The service already works with the World Cup. If you send a Yo to WorldCup, for instance, you will receive one back every time a goal is scored.