With Chillr acquisition, Truecaller goes for a deeper bet in Indian payment space

Chillr

Eyeing a huge opportunity in fledgling fintech market in India, Swedish company Truecaller has acquired Mumbai-based payments startup Chillr. Following the acquisition, the caller id app will roll out credit and other financial services in the country.

This is the first acquisition for Truecaller in India, which has been looking to boost its revenue from the country for a long time. Besides looking to increase mobile payment adoption amongst users, it is also planning to offer bill payment option via Truecaller app.

The quantum of the deal couldn’t be ascertained but Chillr’s whole team of 45 people will be absorbed by Truecaller and the former’s CEO Sony Joy will become vice president of Truecaller Pay. The Stockholm-headquartered company will also swell its team size to 2X in the country.

The company made entry into the Indian market via UPI in a partnership with ICICI Bank, to allow people to send and receive payments through Truecaller Pay. According to Joy the company sees its payment platform amongst one of India’s top three payment apps over the next two years.

With a massive user base of 150 million and 300 partners in India, Truecaller was the fourth most used app after WhatsApp, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger, across Android and iOS devices in India last year.

While the Sequoia Capital-backed company has so far raised $90 million, the four-year-old Chillr has raked-in about $7.5 million total funding from Blume Venture and Sequoia.

Chillr essentially allows users to transfer money to any contact in their phone book, mobile recharge, DTH TV subscription, and data cards.

Joy claims of becoming third largest payment company may take some time to get materialised but massive user base and popularity of Truecaller in India will certainly help Chillr in securing a spot in the top three payment companies.

Contrary to this, Truecaller was on the Indian government’s radar as a possible tool for cyber attacks in the country. Additionally, the app has been targeted for not being safe as it captures metadata of incoming and outgoing calls and messages.

According to a recent report, Truecaller gathers data which includes the content you view, search terms, websites, and everything about your phone. It is an unnecessary amount of surveillance.

As India is the top receiver of spam calls and messages, it is vulnerable to a leaking of financial details.

With the highest userbase in India, WhatsApp is also facing the privacy issues with regulators. The Facebook-owned company has been targeted over sharing data with the parent company. Truecaller’s entry into fintech space may face similar, if not more, hurdles before coming into action.

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