FreeCharge, an online mobile recharge portal, has raised $33 million (around Rs 200 crore) in Series B funding from existing investor Sequoia Capital, Belgium-based investment firm Sofina, and Russian Internet and technology investor RuNet.
The funds will be used to build an advertising platform to capture online and offline purchase behavior and brand preferences of consumers by offering incentives and discount coupons to transact on its platform.
FreeCharge offers equivalent-value discount coupons from top food joints and popular retailers for every transaction on its portal. As per company’s statement, it has more than 10 million registered users. It earns revenue in the form of commission by linking its users to more than 120 brands such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee, PVR Cinemas, and Cafe Coffee Day.
Freecharge was started in 2010 by entrepreneur Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, head of technology conglomerate Tandon Group. FreeCharge recently acquired Preburn and Wishberg, the latter being its first acquisition.
“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 at more than 400% year-on-year.” said Alok Goel, chief executive officer at Freecharge.
“The differentiation we bring in is that we link marketers directly with consumers. Marketers have realized that our platform has a direct impact on their sales,” he added.
“As the company gains a critical mass of users, it will become an invaluable platform for brands to engage and target consumers with new insights that were unavailable earlier,” said Shailendra Singh, MD of Sequoia Capital India Advisors. Sequoia had invested Rs 20 crore in the company in 2012.