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Truecaller makes first acquisition to build out payment and financial services in India

Sweden’s Truecaller began out life as a service that screens calls and messages to weed out spammers. In latest occasions the corporate has switched its focus to India, its largest market primarily based on customers, adding services that include payments to make it more useful. Now Truecaller is placing much more weight behind its India push after it announced its first acquisition, cell cost service Chillr.

The imaginative and prescient is to go deeper into cell funds and related providers to show Truecaller right into a utility that goes past simply dealing with messages and calls, significantly funds — a space which WhatsApp is preparing to enter in India.

Truecaller doesn’t have WhatsApp -like scale — few corporations can match 200 million energetic customers in Indua, nevertheless it did not too long ago disclose that it has 100 million day by day energetic customers worldwide, whereas India is its largest nation with 150 million registered customers.

Truecaller has raised over $90 million from traders so far, according to Crunchbase. TechCrunch reported in 2015 that it was in talks to boost $100 million at a valuation of round $1 billion, however a deal by no means occurred. Truecaller has as an alternative raised capital from Swedish investment firm Zenith. Chillr, in the meantime, had raised $7.5 million from the likes of Blume Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

Truecaller isn’t disclosing how a lot it has paid for the deal, nevertheless it mentioned that Chillr’s whole staff of 45 folks will transfer over and the Chillr service can be phased out. In addition, Chillr CEO Sony Joy will turn out to be vp of Truecaller Pay, operating that India-based cost enterprise which is able to inherit Chillr’s core options.

“We’ve acquire a company that is known for innovation and leading this space in terms of building a fantastic product,” Truecaller co-founder and CSO Nami Zarringhalam advised TechCrunch in an interview.

Zarringhalam mentioned the Truecaller staff met with Chillr as a part of an effort to achieve out to companions to construct out an ecosystem of third-party providers, however rapidly realized there was potential to return collectively.

“We realized we shared synergies in thought processes for caring for the customer and user experience,” he added, explaining that Joy and his Chillr staff will “take over the vision of execution of Truecaller Pay.”

Truecaller added funds in India final 12 months

Joy advised TechCrunch that he envisages growing Truecaller Pay into one among India’s high three cost apps over the subsequent two years.

Already, the service helps peer-to-peer funds following a partnership with ICICI Bank, however there are plans to layer on extra providers from third events. That might embrace integrations to supply providers comparable to loans, financing, micro-insurance and extra.

Joy identified that India’s banking push has seen many individuals within the nation join a minimum of one account, so now the problem just isn’t essentially getting banked however as an alternative gaining access to the fitting providers. Thanks to gathering info by means of funds and different buyer knowledge, Truecaller might, with permission from customers, share knowledge with monetary providers corporations to provide customers entry to providers that wouldn’t have the ability to entry in any other case.

“Most citizens have a bank account (in each household), now being underserved is more to do with access to other services,” he defined.

Joy added that Truecaller is aiming to layer in worth added providers over its SMS capabilities, digging into the truth that SMS stays a key communication and data channel in India. For instance, serving to customers pay for gadgets confirmed through SMS, or pay for an order which is tracked through SMS.

The improvement of the service in India has made it look from the surface that the corporate is splitting into two, a product localized for India and one other for the remainder of the world. However, Zarringhalam mentioned that the corporate plans to duplicate its strategy — funds and extra — in different markets.

“It could be based on acquisitions or partners, time will tell,” he mentioned. “But our plan is to develop this for all markers where our market penetration is high and the market dynamics are right.”

Truecaller has raised over $90 million from traders so far, according to Crunchbase. TechCrunch reported in 2015 that it was in talks to boost $100 million at a valuation of round $1 billion, however a deal by no means occurred. Truecaller has as an alternative raised capital from Swedish investment firm Zenith.



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