San Francisco-based Juvo came out of stealth mode last week, with a bold claim that it can make “invisible” prepaid customers visible to mobile operators, increasing their ability to monetize pay-as-you-go subscribers.
Juvo’s iOS or Android app enables prepaid users to build up what is effectively a credit score, by analysing their behavior and generating a rating for the MNO. Juvo calls this an “identity score” and users can boost that rating by interacting with the app and sharing data about themselves and their habits.
For the MNO, the score can be used to enable new services for prepaid subscribers (a growing percentage for many operators), including direct financial services, or (more commonly) loans of voice, data and SMS credit. The longer the app is used, the more detailed the profile becomes, and customers with a high score become eligible for a greater range of financial services, such as banking, loans, and insurance.
“Juvo helps turn a previously ‘invisible’ customer into a ‘visible’ one – opening doors for the customer, the mobile operator and financial service providers alike, and bringing us closer to our vision of financial inclusion for all,” said founder and CEO Steve Polsky in a statement.
Juvo soft-launched in 2014 and claims that mobile operators using its identity scoring technology have seen a 10%-15% boost in ARPU through the new services, and more significantly, from increased usage and loyalty from prepaid customers. For instance, the wish to boost the score is a deterrent to swapping the SIM card and moving to the operator offering the best deal at any one time.
“Customers using Juvo’s proprietary technology always stay connected, and mobile operators keep their customers online longer, thus improving customer satisfaction, network efficiency and profitability,” said one of Juvo’s backers, former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin. Sarin participated in Juvo’s recent funding round, which raised $14m and also included AT&T Wireless chief Mohan Gyani, former Telefonica International CEO António Viana-Baptista, and Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, among others.
“Juvo’s leadership team has deep expertise and an enviable track record in mobile telecoms and financial services, and the company is well positioned to not only accelerate the digital transformation of mobile operators, but also to address the wider socio-economic issues around financial inclusion,” Niederauer said in a statement.