Silicon Valley based Yo CEO Or Arbel has hinted at a China expansion in a recent episode of Technode’s Silicon Valley Heartbeat. “We plan to open Yo office in China and to have China brands use Yo. Chinese users will be able to access interesting stories on Simplified Chinese-translated app” Arbel said in the exclusive video interview.

His remark is rather unexpected considering that the app declined out of the top 1,000 apps overall App Store ranking after it peaked in June 2014, however according to Arbel, Yo will no longer be just a single function push messenger in the future. When Yo opened the company in San Francisco it received a viral reception, for four days in June 2014 Yo was the fourth-most popular app in the U.S.

The company raised US$1.5 million funding from eight investors, including the founders of Tencent and Mashable with a US$5-10 million valuation. Now the Silicon Valley based simple-notification app identifies itself as “a platform for interesting updates.” 

Introducing Yo Index: One Tap to Subscribe 

“At first, people didn’t understand what we’re doing, they just think about sending ‘Yo’ without meaning,” Arbel noted. “However, why we’re doing is because we are building a platform where you can get notification on any interesting updates.”

“Many brands use Yo to push a content and have breaking news sent to their customers.” Arbel said. The company claims organisations including the NBA, Chelsea Football Club and General Electric have opened accounts on Yo. “Once a user taps to subscribe, he/she gets a Yo when something interesting happens. On Yo Index, users can see news, sports, buzzfeed, fun stuff and social feeds. Users can also send friends a photo, interesting links or location.”

“Our mission is not about replacing Whatsapp, Line, Wechat or Snapchat,”Arbel said. “It’s about bringing people a new way of communication in a way that people have not tried before.”

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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