Swedish integrated caller ID service app company TrueCaller has acqui-hired Mumbai-based payment startup Chillr, touted as “WhatsApp for money”, to strengthen its payments business in India. The financials of deal were remain undisclosed however.
With this acquisition, TrueCaller will now roll out credit and other financial services to Indian users in the coming months.
Founded in 2013 by Anoop Sankar, Lishoy Bhaskaran, Mohamed Galib and Sony Joy, Chillr allows its users to transfer money to any contact in their phone book. Customers can also recharge their mobile phones and, DTH TV subscriptions and data cards. Backed by high-profile investors like Sequoia Capital and Blume Ventures, who will now make exits, Chillr had raised $7.5 million in two different rounds in year 2014 and 2015.
Post this acquisition, Chillr’s team including its founders will be joining Truecaller. Chillr chief executive Joy will serve as vice president of Truecaller Pay, the firm’s digital payments service, while the full team will be absorbed by TrueCaller. The Stockholm-headquartered company will also double its team size in India.
Truecaller has a user base of 150 million users in India. It also has 300 partners in the country, where it will leverage its payments feature. “We want to be the top three payments ecosystem in the country in the next few months,” Joy said.
Chillr started operations in 2013 and had a beta launch of the app this February 2015 as a person-to-person money transfer app to help users transfer cash to any person on their mobile phone contact list via the app without having to know the recipient’s bank account details.
Notably, before Chillr, Sony Joy ran a value-added service or VAS and B2B mobile solutions company called MOBME Wireless, while he was still in college in 2006. Chillr was incubated within this MobME only. In 2009, MOBME had received NASSCOM innovation award in startup category.
Chillr was later spun off as a separate entity ‘Backwater Technologies (P) Ltd’ in December 2014 after having won India’s leading private bank HDFC Bank, as its 1st partner bank.
Notably, Truecaller has entered the digital payments space in India with UPI last year. The company is now integrating payments as a core part of its offering, co-founder Nami Zarringhalam told an Indian business daily in April this year.
“By acquiring Chillr, we are strengthening our plans to increase mobile payments adoption amongst our user base,” said Zarringhalam adding that users will soon be able to make bill payments using its service in a matter of weeks.
In the coming months, Truecaller will roll out credit and other financial services on its payments app for Indian users, said the Economic Times report.
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