What is FreeCharge?
- FreeCharge was founded in the August 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.
- It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile phone, postpaid mobile, DTH & Data Cards in India.
- It was seedfunded by Tandon Group and Sequoia Capital in 2010 with an undisclosed amount.
- By 2011, the company was able to secure another ₹200 million from Sequoia Capital as Series A funding.
FreeCharge's customer base
FreeCharge has a customer base of over 30 million users and over 8 million users of its mobile wallet.
Snapdeal acquires FreeCharge for $400 million
- E-commerce company Snapdeal acquired online recharge platform FreeCharge for $400 million.
- The deal was reportedly 30% in cash and 70% in stock.
- Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl said that the joint entity would create the country's largest mobile commerce platform with over 40 million customers.
- With the help of FreeCharge, Snapdeal would be able to cater to a much younger customer base of 18-25.
FreeCharge launches digital wallet
- In partnership with YES Bank, FreeCharge launched its digital wallet.
- FreeCharge co-founder Kunal Shah said that the digital wallet service would transform the way people make payments.
- He said that it was a secure, easy to use and feature-rich service.
- He added that customer needs were evolving and it was the right time to launch a digital wallet service with good features.
What is a digital wallet?
A digital wallet refers to an electronic device that allows an individual to make electronic commerce transactions. This can include purchasing items online with a computer or using a smartphone to purchase something at a store.
FreeCharge aims to become OS of digital payments
- FreeCharge COO Govind Rajan said that they were aiming to make it an Operating System(OS) for digital payments system.
- He said that the biggest issue was acceptance of digital payments by traders.
- He added that the company would partner with banks and expand the market.
- This would help them to focus on getting more vendors to use their mobile wallet for payments.
FreeCharge to invest ₹2000 crore on promotion, cashbacks
- FreeCharge would invest ₹2000 crore on promotions and cashbacks over 18 months to attract more customers.
- The investment also includes ₹100 crore budget for sponsorship, alliances and promotions during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- Company's co-founder Kunal Shah said that their aim was to convert all customer transactions into a rewarding experience.
- He added that they would introduce LPG cylinder refill payments very soon.
'FreeCharge Go' virtual card launched by FreeCharge
- FreeCharge launched its newest venture- a virtual card 'FreeCharge Go'.
- FreeCharge Go will be linked with the FreeCharge wallet and will make their wallet accepted universally across all online retailers in India. 'FreeCharge Go' is powered by MasterCard and was launched in association with YES Bank.
- The company said that it will make payments available at offline stores in the upcoming months.
FreeCharge ties up with CCAvenue, Ezetap, introduces P2P
- In February 2016, FreeChrge tied up with mobile payments company Ezetap to enable its wallet users to make offline payments at Ezetap's point-of-sale terminals.
- In March 2016, it also partnered with a payment gateway CCAvenue, giving its customers access to over 100,000 online merchants.
- FreeChrge also introduced 'Chat and Pay', a social payments option under the P2P payment format.
Tie ups with RedBus, WhatsApp, ClearTrip, BookMyShow
- In April, FreeCharge tied up with BookMyShow.com, offering cashbacks and enabling users to vastly speed up their checkout time using the FreeCharge wallet.
- In May, FreeCharge joined hands with Cleartrip and RedBus, increasing their footprint in the travel sector.
- FreeCharge also introduced a mechanism for users to send money to their contacts via WhatsApp, a significant improvement on its 'Chat and Pay' feature.
FreeCharge elevates Govind Rajan to CEO position
- In a management shake-up, FreeCharge has elevated its CEO Kunal Shah to the position of Chairman, and COO Govind Rajan as the new CEO.
- Rajan has previously worked as chief marketing officer at Bharti Airtel and as CEO for Airtel Money.
- Praising former CEO Kunal Shah's work, Rajan stated that "it is a privilege to take the baton from him."