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FreeCharge raises $33 million Series B

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MUMBAI: FreeCharge, an online platform for recharge, utility payments, promotions and couponing, has raised $33 million in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital, Sofina and RuNet.

The online portal, which is witnessing a rapid growth, is building 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.

Mobile transactions on the Freecharge app have grown 30x since the beginning of 2014, and the company has more than 10 million registered users. FreeCharge CEO Alok Goel 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. 70 per cent of our transactions come from mobile platforms and we are growing more than 400 per cent year on year.”

Sequoia Capital India Advisors MD Shailendra Singh 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.”

RuNet investment officer Galina Chifina added, “Freecharge is one of the most exciting companies in our Indian portfolio with a highly innovative business model that has global appeal and scalability. We are happy to participate in the new round to support the new initiatives the company has embarked upon. The team has done an awesome job to position Freecharge among the leaders of the mobile recharge/payment and data analysis market in India and we believe the new round will help the company to grow even faster.”

The company has added Gokul Rajaram, Koh Boon Hwee, Dhiraj Rajaram to its board of advisors. Apart from this, the online platform has also announced the appointment of Ninad Y Takpere as the chief business development officer. Takpere said, “I am inspired by the innovation that FreeCharge has brought to the Indian e-commerce space.  I have great respect for the democratic leadership values and professionalism at FreeCharge. I am quite excited about my role and look forward to contribute and be part of the growth journey of FreeCharge.”

FreeCharge also recently acquired Preburn, in addition to Wishberg, its first acquisition.

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