Founded in September, Youtip creates digital solutions for cashless tipping. Users scan QR codes or tap links in email or
text messages to access the payment system.
Youtip recently integrated with Volara so tips can be
initiated with a voice command. The company says it will announce integrations with
property management systems, texting systems and branded apps in the near
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Youtip developed a digital solution for the evolving
cashless tipping economy. The company was founded in 2020 to serve as an
enterprise system for digital gratuity. With the global pandemic increasing
demand for contact-free business interactions, Youtip provides a cashless,
contactless and “app-less” digital tipping service with full reporting for all
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
Youtip is a B2B2C software service provider. We sell our
system to businesses that employ workers who rely on tips for income. We
transfer money held by tipping customers to the bank accounts of these
businesses and into their payroll systems using QR codes; text/email links; smartphone
cameras; digital wallets; and credit cards.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: Deep industry knowledge and robust networks in
both hospitality and fintech; solid UI and back-end technology design - we are "faster
than cash"; modeled for quick, inexpensive deployment and flexibility; very low overhead.
- Weaknesses: We are navigating uncharted waters with no
direct examples to follow; reliance on third-party payment systems that are not designed
to easily accommodate our model.
- Opportunities: Five million hotel rooms in the United States, 20 million
worldwide with millions of tipped housekeepers; 60,000 hotels in the U.S., 500,000 worldwide with millions of
tipped bellmen and valet parking attendants; 3,000 valet parking and shuttle service companies in the U.S., so millions of daily tip opportunities; 20,000 tour operation companies in the U.S. with millions of daily
tip opportunities; 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the U.S. with millions of
annual donation opportunities.
- Threats: Like most startups, we fear one of the fintech giants
with unlimited resources stepping into a phone booth for a fight with us.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
- The emotional pain of the traveler who is unable to tip due
to not having cash, or the correct denomination of cash.
- Missed income opportunities for the service worker
- Anxiety related to contact-related health risks
- The fog of tip-related accounting accuracy
- Conflict between workers regarding tip attribution and
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
- Waiving subscription costs for all of 2021
- Leveraging relationships with partners who already have
existing customers, for example, we have an integration with Volara, a company
that facilitates voice tech interaction in hotel rooms. We plan to roll out
several similar integrations in the coming weeks and months, with property management
systems, texting systems and branded apps.
- Targeting brands, management companies and ownership groups
for enterprise-wide deployments
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We conducted hundreds of interviews and concept/prototype tests with
travelers, hotel operators, tour operators, parking management company managers
and industry experts. We included tippers, employers and tipped employees in
the exploration, testing and interviewing process to validate our hypothesis.
How and when will you make money?
For our client companies we provide a SaaS model, and we
charge a small convenience fee to the tipper for each transaction.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
Sarah Taveprungsenukul has been a key player in the
hospitality industry tech space for the past two decades working with large
enterprises and startups alike and specializing in solutions that bring operational efficiencies and engaging
experiences to local hospitality and travel brands.
Nicholas Okuley is a seasoned software architect and
engineer with over 15 years of experience in organizations of varying size and
industry. The breadth and depth of his expertise has helped companies rapidly
prototype product concepts, architect multi-service systems and write flexible
APIs for both internal and external integrations. He has aided companies during
hyper-growth, served as a subject matter expert to executives and produced
award-winning enterprise solutions.
Doug Miles has been a product and design leader in fintech
for 20 years. He has launched over a dozen new trading and banking platforms
and had responsibility for more than 30 platforms over the years. His teams
were regularly recognized in fintech and investing publications for innovation,
including a Webby Award for Best Practices in Mobile. He is co-inventor of two design
patents for UI in financial applications.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your
Youtip approaches all hiring, networking and partnership
opportunities with an eye toward building a diverse and inclusive culture.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business
Adapting to 100% remote work and travel restrictions.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We entered this market at the confluence of observed macro
trends and the discovery of a large and growing product gap, both recognized
through intensive study of data and ethnography.
The macro trends are:
- A world that is going cashless
- Coronavirus disease-driven understanding and utilization
of QR codes
- Smartphones ship with built-in QR code-reading
The large and growing product gap is the scarcity of cash to
complete the transaction loop between tipper and service provider. Our approach is sound and scientific, any luck we may enjoy
will be generated by hard work, hustle and relentless self-reflection,
experimentation, testing and iteration on everything we do.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will
Youtip will be the most recognized brand in cashless tipping
and “Youtip” will become a verb.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing
and staying private, etc.)
We plan to grow and stay private until and unless
circumstances compel us to change course.
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