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March 25, 2021

Business Profile: Fygo

We are pleased to begin a new series in the OPC monthly eNews in which we will profile the business ventures of alumni in their twenties and thirties. This month, read about Fygo, an automatic student rewards app co-founded by OP brothers, Jonah (2013-18) and Toby (2011-16) Lowenstein, and Ben Champion. The company has recently been enrolled by Start It PRO, the incubator scheme for current St Paul’s students, as well as former pupils of St Paul’s and its partner schools aged 18-23.

Fygo was founded at the start of the pandemic and currently allows Durham University students and staff to link their bank card to a mobile app and access loyalty rewards in the form of cashback when they use the services of local businesses. The app is due to hard launch towards the end of April, at which point a variety of businesses, online and in-store, will be available on the app. The app targets Gen Z consumers and taps into a generational demand for enhanced user experience and the expectation of interacting with businesses via mobile apps.

Users pay full price for products and receive cashback directly from Fygo, rather than from the individual businesses, the intention being that businesses do not undermine their products or brand by offering discounts. Instead, the app works on a basis of loyalty and discovery of the businesses partnering with Fygo. A new channel of conversation is opened for every partner business as, following purchases, business partners can send a personalised message to users’ phones.

“When students know that they’re getting the best value when they spend, they are more confident to make purchases. Fygo’s automatic rewards also provide a lasting sense of gratification, which boosts loyalty. 75% of Gen Z and Millennials are likely to re-visit a business that offers cashback” – Jonah

The app is also built to be social – every time a user visits a Fygo business partner they earn a loyalty point for themselves and one that they can send to a friend. This point sharing is designed to make the app go viral amongst the student community and turn one customer into two for every business partner.

Fygo maps consumer journeys from the viewing of a business page through to spending with that business in order that partners can see the impact of the app on sales and revenue. Partners can change their offer when they please and personal account managers can be assigned to help businesses to strategise their use of the app.

Co-founders Ben Champion, Toby (2011-16) and Jonah (2013-18) Lowenstein

“Being a member of the Start It PRO Incubator Programme has been an enormous boost for the team! The access to mentoring, resources, and funding has been, and will continue to be, invaluable” – Toby

Fygo has raised £400,000 in pre-seed funding from Charles Wigoder, founder and executive chairman of FTSE-250 company, Telecom Plus plc. The app won the Santander Ideas Explosion competition 2020, and are one of 10 startups in global law firm Hogan Lovells’ most recent FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program cohort. The company has partnered with several leading companies for launch, including VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Hogan Lovells, Santander, and Evalian.

If you would like to recommend a business for profiling in a future edition, please contact Jeremy Withers Green. We also encourage those who wish to promote their business to fellow OPs to register their company in the ‘Business Directory’ on St Paul’s Connect. The business directory allows users to share details of their business with fellow alumni, as well as to provide personalised ‘offers’ to the St Paul’s Connect community.

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