Finnish Nightlife Application Yossa Takes On Barcelona

Matti Lammisalo, unlike most Finns, hasn’t been flying to Spain on a regular basis only to participate in over-the-top partying. After many business trips, he recently moved to the Catalonian capital to open office for his company’s brand new Spanish branch, which aims to market and develop the Yossa nightlife app. Used by a growing thousands of Barcelonian clubbers and cocktail enthusiasts, the app’s launch in Spain this March was success story for a social Finnish app with now deals with 27 clients in Spain, including 20 big clubs.

First things first though, as in order to fully understand why the spanish party animals have embraced the application, we need to dig more into Yossa’s first steps in its home of origin, Finland, or more precisely, Koivukylä.

Three years ago Lammisalo’s weekend adventures would somehow always end up in the same local pub where the cycle of the night was more than predictable. Meeting new people, listening to new music or simply having variety between the nights out didn’t seem to happen. Needless to say, there had to be an alternative for planning a night out, and if there wasn’t, Lammisalo was going to create one.

A few years later the prototype of Yossa was out, focusing on Helsinki. It provided information of all the events going on, trying to be somewhat the Facebook for parties where users could post comments and share their opinions, while getting updates on what was going down that night. Soon it became obvious that information alone simply wasn’t enough. Something was missing.

With 4 months of funding left, Yossa was back from where it first started. The team knew they were onto something; the first launch wasn’t a complete failure as there was a fair deal of interest surrounding the app, but people weren’t using it enough for it to become a sensation.

That year, no one in the company had their summer holidays, but this determination resulted in a throughout collection of information from the target groups such as potential users, restaurants and nightclubs. The collected data gave the team a large amount of insight in order to build a completely new product, something that correlated more with the end user’s actual needs and interests.

During the 4 months of testing their Beta version, the Yossa team progressively filtered out what was working, what wasn’t and what new implementations should be considered.

The Yossa we see today is the result of much development, but the core method of functioning isn’t that much different from that of the “second” original version. The application includes promotions, drink coupons and name lists which users can use in the issuing nightclub or bar. An example would be two drinks for the price of one or free entrance before midnight etc.

The restaurants and clubs, in return, get instantaneous proof whether the application is bringing in more customers – like a digital club promoter – as the application’s offers are registered into the database the moment they’re used.

Perhaps the real beauty of the app lies in the possibilities it offers for market research. The app collects user information which can be translated into valuable knowledge. For instance, the app can reveal the distribution among gender, age, relationship status etc. of a nightclub’s or bar’s customers.

As an example, a rock themed bar owner could see a general peak of interest in stand up comedy among its customers, which could lead to the introduction of comedy nights in the bar. This obviously makes customers happier because they’re getting what they wanted and the bar gets more revenue. Win win.

Yossa already made it quite big in Finland with 30,000 monthly users in Finland, but big was redefined once it landed in Barcelona. In Barcelona party promoters are hired by nightclubs, and these promoters hire regular people to hand out flyers on the streets. Needless to say, the entire process requires absurd amounts of manual work and to top it off everyone needs their cut.  An automated app like Yossa that also includes analytics was so convincing that 92% of all contacted nightclubs purchased Yossa’s services. Think of it as Finnish efficiency putting some order in Spanish nightlife.

The decision to launch in Barcelona came down to three factors: 67% of Spaniards use smartphones, Barcelona is one of the most evolved cities in Europe when it comes to nightlife, and lastly its promotional systems are completely out of date. It’s the ideal spot to put the Yossa app to real use.

In Europe, the nightclub industry generates around €17 billion every year. Barcelona is Yossa’s first international expansion. Of course, there’s competition in the industry, but Lammisalo tells us that no other app out there is as ready for international use as Yossa.

With 27 major nightclubs already signed, Yossa’s pan-European expansion could very well become a reality, but for now, they’ll have to see that things run smoothly for a while in Spain.

Yossa is available for download in the App Store and on Google Play.