FreeCharge Raises $33m in Investment for Coupon Solution

freechargeIndia-based online platform FreeCharge has raised $33m (£19.9m) for its coupon solution in Series B funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, Sofina and RuNet.

The platform enables users to earn coupons when they add money to their prepaid mobile phone plans or pay utility bills online. Once they have registered using FreeCharges website or mobile app, they are emailed coupons equal to the money they have spent which can be redeemed with brands including McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, Amazon, along with several major coffee shop and cinema chains.

95 per cent of Indias 700m mobile phone users have a prepaid plan, providing FreeCharge with a huge market to tap into. The companys main competitors are offline shops and other vendors where users are able to top up their phone plans.

The new investment will be used to fund marketing efforts and build FreeCharges offline-to-online advertising platform, which enables brands to targets users by tracking their offline purchases using FreeCharges coupons.

“In India, there are 40m transactions that happen every day in the prepaid mobile phone market,” said Alok Goel, CEO of FreeCharge, speaking to TechCrunch. “Only a fraction of that is online, but the market is growing rapidly.”

“FreeCharge is creating a unique new category, an advertising platform with the consumption graph for the most valuable online consumers,” said Shailendra Singh, managing director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors. “We are very impressed with the teams execution and the rapid growth and engagement of users on the platform.”