truecaller

Update: Truecaller now has 30 million registered users in India, says Alan Mamedi in an interview with CNBC-TV 18. Globally, it claims to have 55 million registered users. 

Earlier (April 17): Mobile based directory service Truecaller has 29 million users in India, says Truecaller co-founder & CEO Alan Mamedi in an interview with The Times Of India. Mamedi mentions that India is their biggest market and it represents more than half of the company’s 50 million global user base.

What’s not clear though is whether this number represents Truecaller’s active users or registered users in the country. Note that active users is more important for mobile apps since it provides an indication of whether the app is being used actively or not, unlike registered users which doesn’t indicate anything. Update: Truecaller has informed Medianama that these are registered users. It declined to disclose the company’s active user base in India.

That being said, this is up from 22 million users in India reported in December 2013, indicating that the company has probably added seven million users in about four months.

What’s interesting is the company seems to re-positioning Truecaller as a service which helps users identify spam callers. Mamedi mentions that they are blocking more than 2 million spam calls on a daily basis in India itself. Although spam is just one of Truecaller’s use cases and there are significant privacy issues around the app, since users who have your number are essentially giving away your contact details for anyone to look up from this online directory.

While the company does offer an option to unlist a number, we are not sure how many people are aware that their number is already shared on the service by their friends or acquaintances and then go about unlisting their number on the service. Mamedi also notes that that they crowdsource information only from their Windows and BlackBerry apps and do not crowdsource information from their Android or iOS apps,

There are however legitimate use cases as well: For instance, it had announced an integration of the Yelp API as part of its new product launch on Android and iOS, which allows users to identify reviewed businesses and view their ratings globally. It had also partnered with Twitter to allow users of its Android app in the country view whether a mobile number is connected to a Twitter account and follow them directly or send them a tweet right from the Truecaller app.

The company had raised $18.8 million from Sequoia Capital, Open Ocean, Truecaller Chairman Stefan Lennhammer, and an unnamed private investor in February 2014.

Also read: Issues The TrueCaller Hacking Raises About Apps & Their Makers