FreeCharge, an India-based bill paying program that rewards users with emailed coupons has just completed an $80 million Series C fundraising round as the company prepares to expand its transactional advertising program, according to TechCrunch. This follows a $33 million Series B fundraising round back in September that brings the total value of the company up to $115 million.
FreeCharge is a mobile app that allows users to pay mobile bills, as well as other utility costs, but rewards customers with coupons for online stores like FlipKart and Amazon India, as well as brick-and-mortar stores like Baskin Robbins or McDonald’s. The app also uses the data collected from consumers to target their coupons to the people most likely to use them using specific algorithms to gauge consumer interactions. Participating vendors benefit from FreeCharge by gaining valuable insights as to who is using their coupons, and what is being bought or sold with them.
Currently, the app has been downloaded 10 million times and is used by over 20 million consumers. It had initially used its Series B round to focus on improving online advertising features, and will now focus on transactional advertising for better consumer targeting, especially with offline products that give FreeCharge a competitive edge over larger competitors like Google and Facebook.
“Google is working search keywords, Facebook is working on demographics, and we work on products that you consume in the offline world. We can see what movie interests you have. We observe what users are buying, based on transaction data that we see, which allows us to build a very interesting ad ecosystem that Google and Facebook don’t have,” FreeCharge CEO Alok Goel said back in September about his company’s mission.
The Series C round attracted investors from Valiant Capital Management and Tybourne Capital Management, as well as additional funding from the company’s Series B funders Sequoia Capital, RuNet, and Sofina.
Kunal Shah, the founder and CEO of Free Charge will be speaking about the growth of FreeCharge as part of an Innovation Project 2015 Panel discussion “From Acquisition To Engagement.”
To learn more about the Innovation Project 2015 here