In a market where Google and Facebook apps dominate active user rankings, Truecaller stands out. The 12-year-old company has been slow to monetize its active user base of over 200 million, but its advertisement business is now growing rapidly. Can it keep up the momentum?
October 07, 2021
10 Min Read
If you go through the IPO prospectus of Truecaller, the mobile phone directory and caller identification application, you will find Sweden, its home market, mentioned 141 times. Search for India and you will find it mentioned 169 times.
Truecaller is not an Indian company. It was founded in 2009 in Sweden, where it is going public on Friday. Till 2013, when it started discussing a fundraising round with Sequoia Capital, its founders Alan Mamedi and Nari Zarringhalam had not even visited India. But they have since made visiting India, where 55% of the company’s employees are based, a quarterly affair.
After all India is Truecaller’s largest market, accounting for 200 million of its 278 million monthly active users. So much so that the company’s tagline says “born in Sweden, built in India.”
Such stats are true for Facebook and its messaging application WhatsApp as well. And for Google’s YouTube. India has always given these companies their largest user bases, but in terms of revenue the numbers are usually in low single digits.
Not for Truecaller, which makes over 69% of its revenue from India. And in a digital market dominated by transaction-led businesses that monetize through commerce, Truecaller stands out, with 80% of its revenue coming from advertising.
The CapTable looks at who is buying into Truecaller’s IPO, how its business has shaped up, and the challenges before it.