Wayra backed European startup people.io are today announcing their successful collaboration with Telefónica NEXT in launching “O2 GET”, a co-branded mobile app designed to give consumers greater control and ownership of their personal data. The O2 GET app is powered by people.io technology and is recognised as the first Telefónica branded consumer product to have been launched by one of Wayra its startups. The launch follows an intensive 12 month period since Wayra’s investment, during which the startup has been coached by senior executives from across Wayra and the Telefónica organisation.
The O2 GET app is one of the first products to align with the Telefónica’s recent 4th Platform announcement, made at Mobile World Congress, emphasising the telco’s widely reported views on the value of Data Ownership and Transparency.
It is now anticipated that people.io will continue to develop momentum through strategic partnerships and expansion, bolstered by Wayra Deutschland and the international capability of the Telefónica Open Future network; providing access to the estimated 300 million customer base of Telefónica globally.
How the app works
After registering for an account with people.io via the O2 GET app, users initially answer questions about their interests like music or sports, planned purchases, and their personality traits. To make their profile more accurate, users can also connect data sources from other parts of their digital lives with the app, such as their e-mail account or health trackers.
Based on their personal interests and preferences, users are then given suggestions for suitable advertising partners and brands they might wish to interact with. These partners, however, do not obtain access to the users data at any point.
Users are rewarded in real time for every information exchange or brand engagement in the form of credits which can redeemed for rewards such as digital gift cards or donated to charity.
Since its inception, people.io has been centred around core values of privacy, control and reward with the ultimate ambition of building a “firewall for people” and thus enabling the next evolution of technology and artificial intelligence, by giving consumers real control over the access, use and value associated to personal data.
“Our investment in people.io was based on a great team and their strategic alignment with the overarching vision of Telefónica. The launch of “O2 GET” shows the benefits of combining a disruptive startup product with the resources and scale of Telefónica. We’re looking forward to many more collaborations between Wayra startups and Telefónica creating win-win situations in the future”, says Wayra Deutschland Director Dr. Johanna Braun.
people.io founder and CEO, Nicholas Oliver has embraced the support of Wayra’s team, noting “the ongoing support of Wayra has played an essential role in helping us sign and launch our first telecom partnership. Since our very first pitch, they have continued to enable our vision to give people ownership of their personal data by facilitating a strategic brand partnership with one of the world’s most innovative telecommunication companies. Our launch of the people.io app as a co-branded Telefónica product, in one of Europe’s most privacy aware markets, gives us a significant platform to expand from into 2017/18.”
John Craig, the Telefonica Germany mentor for people.io, and Project Manager for the O2 GET launch, explained “Our launch of O2 GET represents the culmination of work throughout the year with Wayra startups, and provides an example of how a large company can work together with a great startup towards a shared vision. We want to put end-users more at the centre of their engagement with brands, and the O2 GET App is very much part of this. Users can build and realize the value of their own data, without disclosing the data to brands or advertisers..”
The Telefónica-Accelerator program was founded in April 2011 and started its presence in Colombia’s capital Bogotá. Wayra aims at accelerating the growth of innovative and technological businesses all over the world. Wayra Deutschland has proven its positive influence on startups several times in the past. Only one year after its foundation, the delivery service and Wayra alumni Foodora was taken over by Rocket Internet. In 2017, the Wayra-startup Neokami developing solutions for artificial intelligence, was acquired by Relayr. Another successful Wayra startup is NFWare, the Developer of Virtualized Networking Software, that raised $2M from Investors Led by Sistema VC. Startups from all over the world can apply for the program in 10 countries. In Europe, Wayra has offices in Madrid, Barcelona, London and Munich.
Founded by Nicholas Oliver in 2015, people.io is European start-up who are giving people ownership of their data, by facilitating the transition of data from companies to individuals, in order to create a ‘firewall for people’. Once realised, their vision is to give a person absolute control the access, use and value of their decentralised personal data. Recognised as the 2016 Nasdaq Rising Star and Marketing Week 100 Disruptive Brands, they are backed by some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Thomas Höegh (Arts Alliance) and Nick Robertson (ASOS) in addition to corporate backing from Founders Factory (Brent Hoberman & Henry Lane-Fox) and Wayra Deutschland (Telefónica Open Future).