Yelo, a social platform for posting and finding on-demand household services, has been selected to be a featured startup at Web Summit 2018
“The Airbnb of local services,” this is how Mehmet Karakus, one of the four founders of Yelo and a student at TBS, describes this business enterprise which has already received a pre-seed investment and will be featured at Web Summit, one of the most important technological fairs in Europe taking place in November in Lisbon.
Yelo will be launched under the slogan “fixing cities”, and will offer 10 on-demand household services such as plumbing, cleaning, handymen, movers, electricians and so on. “In a second phase, we aim to extend it to any service, like yoga classes, support lessons, language exchanges…” says Mehmet. “People post these kinds of offers on Wallapop, Facebook or offline, so it means there’s an actual demand for a platform like Yelo, focused on sharing services.”
In addition to the common advantages offered by peer-to-peer platforms, such as the ability to check reviews from other users, tracking all interactions and automatic translations, Yelo also uses AI to collect data through pictures and provide a cost analysis.
“We are also a local services marketplace with a social cause at our core,” explains Mehmet, CFO of Yelo. “We will work together with the organisation Homeless Entrepreneurs to combat homelessness.” This partnership will promote the professional skills of the homeless people in the programme and the monitoring of the NGO so they are able to secure ongoing work.
The original idea for Yelo came from first-year Bachelor student Héctor Zepeda, from the Barcelona campus of TBS Business School, who shared his idea to one of his classmates, Mehmet Karakus. Together, they pitched Yelo at 4YFN 2018. Justin Hall and Mauricio Coello make up the rest of the quartet of co-founders, all of whom are from different countries but are now based in Barcelona.
“Life as an entrepreneur is really different than school life: talking to people non-stop and keep pushing forward even if you already think you reached your limits, but it’s a lot of fun too” explained Mehmet. “As first years, we didn’t know anything yet. We’ve learned so much this year just by working on our project about how to start a business from scratch.”
The business school’s role
The students counted on the support of TBS. The Career Starter department agreed to allow the students to work on their own project instead of undertaking the compulsory internship at another company, and found them a place at the coworking space MOB. They also received guidance from TBS entrepreneurship professors, Sébastien Bauer and Pascal Bourbon, and were introduced at networking events, such as the one where they secured their first sponsor.