It appears as if the race for the digital payments space in India is only getting to be quite crowded. Truecaller has acquired mobile payments company Chillr. Truecaller is an app that users are familiar with in helping identify and screen callers on mobiles.
Truecaller is a Swedish company that boasts of around 250 million daily active users and what is more interesting is that out of this, 150 million users belong to India and the remaining 100 million spread around the rest of the world. No wonder, Truecaller is seeing a huge potential in this country.
But this may just be the beginning. If one has to compare, the nearest one could be WhatsApp, which has 200 million users and is also incidentally getting into the payments business. But the Swedish company that runs Trucaller does have some futuristic plans to lift is operations in India to the next level by adding on more services.
As for the investments that Truecaller has been able to attract, the firm has raised around $90 million so far and that too from a Swedish investor, Zenith, after attempts to raise $100 million from VCs. Possibly, the company’s valuation of $1 billion was not acceptable to the prospective investors. Chillr, on the other hand, had raised $7.5 million from Sequoia Capital and Blume Ventures. Chillr already has an ongoing arrangement with 50 banks, the major one being ICICI.
Truecaller has retained the CEO of Chillr and given him the responsibility to manage Truecaller Pay as far as the Indian operations are concerned, as a Vice President.
What started as just discussions for a possible co-operation with Chillr, ended up in a takeover. And Truecaller wants to take Truecaller Pay to be among the top 3 in the country. The plan is to go beyond just payment transfers and expand to loans and insurance products and so on. Truecaller might obtain the permission of its customers to share their data with financial services providers including banks, since many customers may not be fully conversant with the facilities available in the market. Truecaller hopes to replicate its success in India, going ahead, in some of the other markets as well.