Truecaller, the caller identification service provider, is betting big on the India market, and is planning to launch several financial services products this year.
The Swedish company said it had become profitable over the past four months and also crossed 200 million monthly active users around the world. Of these, 140 million users are based in India, said Sandeep Patil, India managing director (MD). “India is 70 per cent of our user footprint. And, still it’s one of the fastest-growing geographies. In Just last year, we grew 23 per cent in India, faster than mobile phone penetratation growth,” he said.
He said the company would expand its India footprint and its India employee base, which is mostly technology professionals, will become three to five times of its current size in three years. The firm will continue to invest in talent in India, he said. Patil is the first one to head the position of MD at the Stockholm-based firm, which was co-founded by two friends in 2009.
Truecaller piloted a credit system last year and plans to roll it out at scale slowly, with partners in the area, throughout this year.
It will also launch other financial services like insurance, wealth management and liabilities as pilots this year and start rolling them out at scale by 2022.
Talking about privacy concerns, which often come up with regard to its caller ID function, and news of data leaks on the dark web that surfaced last year, Patil said.
"As far as rumours go, for data leaks and so forth, they keep surfacing from time to time. Quite frankly, we have never found any of them to be credible. We have done our internal investigations, we have our checks and balances to see what data is going where all of that everything seems to be in order," he said.
The company, its MD added, also takes local data storage in India seriously.
Even before the Personal Data Protection Bill mandated it in the first draft and in the final form with some modifications, Patil said Truecaller had localised all its India data two years ago.
He added that it was "very important for our home market to have data domiciled locally, where it is governed by local jurisdiction, and where we build all principles ahead of local requirements".
More than half of the revenue for Truecaller comes from advertising, currently, but the company's CEO Alan Mamedi said last year that the firm expects equal revenues from advertising, subscriptions and fintech.
Truecaller offers Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments through its platform in 2017, and wants to expand the work it does with small and medium enterprises in India through a service that will help SMEs identify their businesses better on the platform. This will be part of its subscriptions business.
The company also said it is expanding its business portfolio with services like Truecaller for Business. This streamlines the process for small businesses to be discovered by nearby users through Truecaller. Another feature being revamped is Truecaller Priority, which identifies relevant calls from businesses, thereby differentiating them from spam calls.