Getting acquired: Guiding Youtility through their sale to US firm, Squeeze

Getting acquired: Guiding Youtility through their sale to US firm, Squeeze

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK household energy bills have increased by 100% since 2020, with half of UK adults cutting down on fuel and two-thirds spending less on non-essentials. In light of that, there is an urgent need for banks and fintech platforms to assist customers with the way they handle and save money, which is where Youtility comes in.

Founded in 2016 by Will Kostoris and Charlie Quigley, co-founders and early adopters of open banking, Youtility is a UK-based independent and impartial subscription management platform, purpose built to help consumers better manage and control their household subscriptions directly within their banking and money management apps.

In September 2023, Youtility was acquired by Squeeze, a fast-growing US direct to consumer platform for recurring bills, with a strong presence in home and car insurance. Now with a 50-person team, Youtility is aiming to partner with more banks and fintechs, currently including Virgin Money, Wagestream and Pockit as clients among others.

Youtility’s APIs plug directly into online and mobile banking apps, aggregating and streamlining price comparison and savings which allows a consumer to pick, choose and seamlessly swap out their household subscriptions and renewals, taking away the hassle that comes with going directly to energy or telco suppliers and more traditional price comparison websites.

Will says:

It quickly became clear to us that when consumers are in their banking apps, they are naturally thinking about where they can cut costs, so having Youtility embedded means all the extra steps of having to seek out the best savings are removed. Data can be injected or pre-filled making it a one click experience and all the information they need is there for them.

With the backing of Ascension Ventures, the UK’s leading impact funds, and government-support via Innovate UK, Youtility were approached by US-based tech platform Squeeze, who were looking to expand into the UK market. With Squeeze’s data analytics and comprehensive B2C experience, Youtility can continue to deliver seamless experiences to banking and fintech consumers on a much larger scale.

Matt Shakesheff, a partner in our corporate team and mergers and acquisitions expert, and corporate associate Callum Giliker worked with Youtility on the acquisition and ensured all the relevant documents were in place, including due diligence, sales preparation and share purchase agreements.

Commenting on what it was like to work with the Youtility team on the acquisition, Matt says:

Will and Charlie have been a pleasure to work with and it’s been great getting to know the ins and outs of their business and be with them on their growth journey as they join forces with Squeeze. I look forward to working with them in the future as they continue to go from strength to strength!

Youtility subscribes to our Enterprise plan, through which they benefit from one hour of free legal support per month with access to discounted hourly rates across the full spectrum of our business legal services. Since becoming a client of Harper James in 2022, our commercial and data protection teams have also assisted Will and Charlie with commercial agreements and data protection compliance, Charlie said:

As a smaller business, our main concern was, ‘How much is this project going to cost?’. Being on Harper James’ Enterprise plan has been great as it’s allowed us to keep our costs down while still getting the high-quality legal advice we needed. Matt and Callum were great throughout and they were realistic and clear about the anticipated costs from the outset.

When asked for words of advice on what other co-founders and entrepreneurs can learn from Youtility’s journey, Will said:

One aspect that made this transaction process so straightforward for us was having a team of legal advisors who take the time to get to know your business and understand your commercial goals. Matt and Callum expertly walked us through each step of the acquisition process.

Post-acquisition with Squeeze, Youtility has no plans of slowing down its business activities, with 2024 seeing the launch of several new banking customers.

Speaking of upcoming trends in banking, Will adds:

We’re seeing an uptick in the number of banks that are working closely with energy suppliers, which creates a lot of exciting opportunities for us to continue to help consumers better understand and access services that will help them achieve their goals.

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