|Type of site||e-commerce|
|Launched||15 August 2010|
|Alexa rank||289 (India) (July 2014[update])|
The website was started in August, 2010 by Kunal Shah of Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd. After getting seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Tandon Group, members of the Mumbai Angels through Accelyst Solutions and Sequoia Capital in 2010, the company secured Series A funding of INR 200 million from Sequoia Capital in 2011. In November 2012, the company claimed to be doing online recharge of INR 6 million on a daily basis, translating to INR 2.19 billion a year.
It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile phone in India. The amount paid by the user for recharge is returned in form of shopping coupons of some of the top retailers in India, thereby making the recharge virtually free. The first two retailers for which coupons were available were McDonald's and Barista. and were followed by other big retailers such as Café Coffee Day, Domino's Pizza, Cromā, Puma, Shoppers Stop and Jet Airways.
By January 2012, the number of registered users of the website were 1.5 million which increased to 2.8 million by November 2012. The company currently has a patent pending status for its business model.
Social media is the primary platform used to reach out to new customers. Rather than relying on direct advertising, the company focuses on unconventional advertising to reach out to customers. In May 2013, the company in association with TheViralFever.com (TVF), an online youth entertainment network, launched a video on YouTube which was a spoof of Emotional Atyachar, a TV show. The name of the company was not directly mentioned so that the video does not look like an advertisement. The company has launched campus marketing program by the name of "FreeCharge Campus Rockstars" to directly reach out to students in campuses of IITs and IIMs.
In March 2013, FreeCharge tied-up with production houses Sony Pictures, Yash Raj Films, UTV Motion Pictures and Viacom 18 to promote their upcoming movies through its portal. Consequently, FreeCharge was the recharge partner of the movies released by these houses such as Man of Steel, Django Unchained, Mere Dad Ki Maruti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
- "FreeCharge.in Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Freecharge.in Launched, To Make Prepaid Mobile Recharge Virtually Free In India". The Telegraph. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Freecharge.in to make prepaid mobile recharge virtually free in India". The Mobile Indian. The Mobile Indian. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Sequoia Capital invests Rs 20 cr in Freecharge.in". HT Media. Live Mint. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Freecharge Secures INR 20 Cr Series A Funding from Sequoia Capital". NextBigWhat.com. Next Big What. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Freecharge claims it is doing 40K mobile recharges a day; plans new features, mobile apps". VCCircle. Techcircle.in. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "2011’s Most Promising Technology Startups from India [The List]". Pluggd.in. NextBigWhat. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "The spoof on TV show Emotional Atyachar highlights the benefits of numerous recharges on FreeCharge". afaqs!. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Freecharge.in joins hands with movie production houses". YourStory. YourStory.in. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Join the FreeCharge team’s Geeks and Freaks night on 14th June for Man of Steel; limited seats only". YourStory. YourStory.in. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Freecharge.in Join Hands With Movie Production Houses". Onlinedealfree. Onlinedealfree. Retrieved 27 July 2013.