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Truecaller in talks with Airtel for Africa venture

Truecaller is seeking to roll out a version of the app that works with 2G phones

Loni Prinsloo | Bloomberg  |  Johannesburg 

Truecaller in talks with start-ups, eyes 200 mn users by end-2016

Swedish phone-app developer AB is in talks with wireless operators including Bharti  to expand its fast-growing spam-filtering service in Africa.

is seeking to roll out a version of the app that works with 2G phones, Chief Commercial Officer Ted Nelson said in an interview in Cape Town on Wednesday. About 70 per cent of cell users in Africa use so-called service phones — devices that aren’t classed as smartphones. The company already has more than 50 million customers on the continent using the more advanced handsets.

“We have partnered with Bharti in India and will also partner with them in Africa,” said Nelson. “Africa is a very important market for us and currently South Africa in particular is our fastest -growing market.” The app identifies the source of incoming calls and protects cell phone users from spam calls and messages. South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are among the top ten countries in the world for unwanted calls, according to a study commissioned by the company, making the continent especially appealing for expansion. is also seeking to open an office in South Africa to direct business on the continent, Nelson said.

“We want to open an African office as soon as possible and we are looking for the right talent to make this happen,” he said.

First Published: Fri, November 10 2017. 00:00 IST