As it ponders an IPO in the next two years, Sweden’s caller ID firm Truecaller has been piloting FinTech products to offer credit to small businesses, Bloomberg reported. The startup has been successfully extending credit to small business owners in India, and plans to expand the services to more users in 2020, CEO Alan Mamedi told Bloomberg.
Truecaller started its business by providing incoming phone call information, later expanding its offerings to include messaging and phone call functionality. In 2017, mobile phone payments were introduced in India. Most of Truecaller’s 200 million active users and 230 employees are located in India.
“In three years, revenue from subscriptions, advertising and FinTech will be equal in size for Truecaller,” Mamedi said. “In a market where very few are banked and digitalized, there’s a large potential.”
Indian law won’t allow Truecaller to accept fees from its business users for financial products. However, the rollout in India propelled an ad-free subscription service. About 30 percent of Truecaller’s revenue comes from paid subscribers, and is expected to top 300 million Swedish krona ($32 million USD) this year, Mamedi said.
Truecaller also provided directory space for business users to create profiles about their companies, and what kind of products or services they offered.
“There’s a lack of a trusted directory for businesses in India, as well as in many other emerging markets,” Mamedi said. “Before we enabled business profiles, people were very creative — using Photoshop to add images from stores to profile pictures, and adding quotes from customers.”
Last year, Truecaller acquired Indian payments startup Chillr, and created agreements with 300 partners in India. The Chillr acquisition grew out of an attempt to build another partnership within India’s digital ecosystem — when it became clear that there was, perhaps, a bigger opportunity than a partnership deal.
Truecaller also brought in about $90 million in funding from investors as of 2018, and was on its way to becoming a unicorn in 2015.