freecharge

Freecharge, Mumbai-based online platform for mobile recharge, utility payments and promotions has raised $33 million (about Rs 200 crore) in Series-B round of funding from existing investor Sequoia Capital, Belgium-based investment firm Sofina and Russian Internet and technology investor ru-Net.

The funds will be used by the company to build an advertising platform that captures online and offline purchase behaviour and brand preferences of consumers, by offering incentives and coupons to users to transact on its platform. It earns revenues primarily by linking about 120 brands such as McDonalds, Domino's Pizza and PVR with consumers.

Freecharge has around 10 million registered users and each time one of its user transacts on the site, he/she can choose a coupon or deal of the equivalent amount from one of these brands. The company, which is targeting one million transactions a day by March, earns revenues in the form of commissions from these brands.

Freecharge was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, head of technology conglomerate Tandon Group.

In a conversation to Business Standard, Alok Goel, CEO of FreeCharge said, "We have been able to assemble one of the best start-up teams in the country and are leading the mobile internet revolution in India. About 70% of our transactions come from mobile platforms and we are growing more than 400% year-on-year."

Freecharge claimed that it is witnessing rapid growth, and mobile transactions on Freecharge app have grown around 30 times since the beginning of 2014. The company said it has more than 10 million registered users. FreeCharge also recently acquired Preburn, in addition to Wishberg - a crowdfunding platform, its first acquisition.

hailendra Singh, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors said, "Freecharge is creating a unique new category, an advertising platform with the 'consumption graph' for the most valuable online consumers. We are very impressed with the team's execution and the rapid growth and engagement of users on the platform."

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