FreeCharge

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FreeCharge
Private
Industry Internet
Founded August 2010; 6 years ago (2010-08)
Founder Kunal Shah, Sandeep Tandon
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Area served
India
Key people

Kunal Shah

Jason Kothari
Services Recharge & Bill Payment
Owner Snapdeal
Website www.freecharge.in

FreeCharge is an e-commerce website headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile phone, postpaid mobile, DTH & Data Cards in India. On 8 April 2015, Snapdeal acquired Freecharge in what is being referred to as the second biggest take over in the Indian e-commerce sector so far, after the buy out of Ibibo by rival MakeMyTrip, and the biggest Venture Capital exit in India to date. According to The Economic Times, the deal is expected to be anything around US$400 to US$450 million.[1]

History[edit]

FreeCharge was started in August, 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.[2] After getting seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Tandon Group and Sequoia Capital in 2010,[3] the company secured Series A funding of INR 200 million from Sequoia Capital in 2011.[4] 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.[5]

In 2011, FreeCharge was named one of the most promising technology startups from India by Pluggd.in.[6]

On 1 September 2014 Freecharge received $33 Million Series B Funding from Sequoia Capital, Sofina and Ru-Net. One of the biggest fund raising by an Indian Technology Startup.[7] On 6 February 2015, FreeCharge further raised $80 Million from Hong Kong-based fund Tybourne Capital Management and SF-based fund Valiant Capital Management and existing investors.[8] FreeCharge is building an advertising platform that will capture online and offline purchase behavior and brand preferences of consumers, by offering incentives and discount coupons to users to transact on its platform.[9]

On 8 April 2015 Indian e-commerce Snapdeal acquired Freecharge for Rs.2800 crore.[10]

In March 2017, Snapdeal announced Jason Kothari will be FreeCharge's new CEO. Snapdeal has decided to invest $20 million into the same.[11]

Website and app[edit]

It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile 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.[12] and were followed by other big retailers such as Café Coffee Day, Domino's Pizza, Cromā,[4] Puma, Shoppers Stop and Jet Airways.[13] By January 2012, the number of registered users of the website were 1.5 million which increased to 2.8 million by November 2012.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Snapdeal buys Freecharge in biggest startup M&A". 8 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Freecharge.in Launched, To Make Prepaid Mobile Recharge Virtually Free In India". The Telegraph. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "How Freecharge got its mojo". 
  4. ^ a b "Freecharge Secures INR 20 Cr Series A Funding from Sequoia Capital". NextBigWhat.com. Next Big What. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Freecharge claims it is doing 40K mobile recharges a day; plans new features, mobile apps". VCCircle. Techcircle.in. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "2011's Most Promising Technology Startups from India [The List]". Pluggd.in. NextBigWhat. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "FreeCharge, Which Gives Users Coupons For Charging Their Mobile Plans, Raises $33M Series B [The List]". Techcrunch.com. Techcrunch. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "FreeCharge raises $80 million in new funds". Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  9. ^ Garia, Nikita (2 September 2014). "FreeCharge raises $33 million in Series B funding". FreeCharge raises $33 million in Series B funding - Livemint. Livemint. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Snapdeal Acquires FreeCharge Online Recharge Service". NDTV Gadgets360.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  11. ^ "The business trajectory of Snapdeal". NewsBytes. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  12. ^ "Freecharge.in to make prepaid mobile recharge virtually free in India". The Mobile Indian. The Mobile Indian. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Sequoia Capital invests Rs 20 cr in Freecharge.in". HT Media. Live Mint. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links[edit]