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article imageMobile rewards platform Freecharge raises $80m in funding

By James Walker     Feb 9, 2015 in Business
Mobile transactions firm Freecharge has raised $80 million from new investors to help fuel its growth. The company enables users to get free rewards such as food or entertainment by simply paying phone bills through its mobile app.
With 10 million downloads of the Indian company's app in the past year and a user base of over 20 million, the app allows users to pay their phone or utility bills online and get free products from retailers in return. The company's website offers users the chance of a free McDonalds burger, Costa Coffee or even movie viewing just by paying their phone bill through them.
Freecharge represents a growing trend in the increase of apps that allow you to get free things by going about your normal business or performing easy tasks. Google and Microsoft even have their own services with Google Opinion Rewards and Bing Rewards respectively. FreePaisa offers rewards to Android users for simply trying out apps while AppMoney will also offer free phone credit and shopping coupons.
The new investors in Freecharge include Valiant Capital Management and Tybourne Capital Management, joining existing capital investor Sequoia Capital in sharing the company's vision of providing phone users with a little something back after each payment.
The company raised $33 million in funding last September and has been valued at around $350 million, showing the popularity it holds with its audience. Freecharge is looking to double or even treble its user base within the next year and aims to achieve this by doubling its workforce to 400 employees.
The $800 million funding obtained from the new investors will be used for product innovations, expansion and marketing according to CEO Alok Goel. The company is still looking solely at India for now though as the country is currently in the middle of an internet boom with 500 million new users expected in the next three to four years.
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