Investors gave $1 million to a messaging app that just sends “Yo”


By Phi Tran Comment


Or Arbel spent just eight hours creating a messaging app that sends nothing but “Yo” – now he’s on his way from Israel to San Francisco to work full time as a CEO of a $1.2 million dollar company. The app, Yo, is unique in that it does very little: send a “Yo” or send a “YoYo” with a double tap. That’s all, folks.

Yo, the app, is the hot app of the moment. It has 50,000 users who have sent 4 million Yo’s. Coincidentally, the app was launched on April Fools, but was originally rejected by Apple’s App Store because it appeared incomplete.

The magic of Yo is contextual conversations. It’s only important for the sender and recipient, and if you do it right, it could be the difference between, “I’m thinking of you” and, “Your packages have arrived.”

For person-to-person texts, a simple Yo can initiate a conversation or tell you exactly what you want to know, depending on the sender. According to Arbel, “you usually understand what the Yo means based on who you get it from and when you get it.”

“What we see is a whole new way to get notifications — life notifications — from friends, family…” or, if you’re a business or website, a way to get notified of new content or packages. There’s already an API:

If you run a blog, a website, a shopify online store or any other kind of service, you’ll be able to boost your engagement with the Yo API.

Some example use cases:

  1. A blog can Yo the readers whenever a new post is published. Imagine getting a Yo From PRODUCTHUNT.
  2. An online store can Yo its customers whenever a new product is offered. Imagine getting a Yo From JENNASHOPIFY.
  3. A football club can Yo the fans whenever the team scores a touchdown. Imagine getting a Yo From THE49ERS.
  4. An ice-cream truck can Yo the kids when it’s around the corner.… Imagine getting a Yo From THEICECREAMTRUCK.


For serious users, Yo is a lightweight messenger and notification app in one. For others, it’s just another sign of the impending Tech Bubble or just a great way to “Poke” at Facebook, whose app of the same name is no longer in service.

Curious users can download the app for both iOS and Android.