The Swiss fintech company Yokoy – also known as “Die Höhle der Löwen” – uses artificial intelligence to automate corporate spending and business card processes. The Zurich-based company was founded in 2019 by Devis Lussi, Lars Mangelsdorf, Melanie Gabriel, Philippe Sahli and Thomas Inhelder under the name Expense Robot. The company currently has more than 150 customers, including companies such as Stadler Rail, Swissquote, Hero and Planzer.
In March 2020, Yokoy announced the first round of financing of 1.7 million Swiss francs (1.57 million euros), led by Swisscom Ventures and the SIX Group, in which Myke Näf, the founder of Doodle, also participated. With the free launch of Yokoy Business Mastercard in August 2020, the company’s name changed from Expense Robot to Yokoy. In October 2020, the purchase of the competing product FlowExpense was added, which gave additional impetus to growth.
And now fintech’s journey continues: they are expanding to Austria to fully serve the DACH market. The first Austrian customers are already in the contract. Well-known entrepreneur Stephan Hebenstreit becomes the CEO of this country.
Why Yokoy is expanding to Vienna
Asked why the first Swiss foreign office opened in Vienna, Melanie Gabriel Yokoy, founder and CMO, replied: “Our goal is to provide our solution to DACH and the pan-European market. Developing specific customer characteristics, state and global requirements we can fulfill them all “.
And even more: “The Austrian market is a unique central geographical location. This allows us to establish an initial base close to Switzerland and therefore acts as a hub for expansion to other European markets. “The complexity of local legislation often poses major challenges for everyone involved in the spending process – which is why Yokoy has its own AI research lab equipped with furniture.
Stephan Hebenstreit becomes CEO
Stephan Hebenstreit joins the Swiss management team as general manager of Yokoy in Austria. In recent years, Stephan Hebenstreit has worked intensively on digital issues, Innovation and automation. He can prove himself in these areas Co-creator FREYGEIST from lightweight electronic bicycles, as an independent consultant, and most recently at PwC in the field of “Digital &” Innovation“Get the right experience and network.
“We have found a person with the experience and strengths necessary to achieve the foundations for Stephan’s success in Austria,” says Philippe Sahli, CEO and one of Yokoy’s founders. Asked about further enlargement plans, he said: “The strong growth we have had in Switzerland has shown us the need for our solution in other countries – we will cover that need, starting with the Vienna office.”
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