truecaller

More than 50% of Truecaller’s 70 million registered user base is in India and the company is adding 110,000 users on a daily basis, says Truecaller’s vice-president of growth & partnerships in Asia, Middle East & Africa Kari Krishnamurthy in an interview with The Times Of India.

This essentially translates to at least 35 million registered users in the country, up from 30 million in April this year. This also means that the company has also added atleast 5 million registered users in the past four months. However, do note that these are registered users and not active users.

But why is Truecaller getting popular?

One of the reason why Truecaller is getting popular is possibly because of the loopholes in India’s National Do Not Call (NDNC) policy wherein users who have opted for the Do Not Disturb (DND) service are still getting spam calls. These include non-profitable organizations, political campaigns, surveys, calls seeking charitable contribution among others.

Interestingly though, the amount of spam calls blocked by Truecaller seems to have gone down significantly in the past four months: Krishnamurthy mentions that they are currently blocking 1 million spam calls every day, of which 50% is from India. This is significant down from 2 million spam calls blocked in India itself back in April this year.

There are other legitimate uses cases as well: It had integrated Yelp API in its Android and iOS apps that allows users 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.

Privacy issues

That being said, 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 there is an option for users to unlist their numbers, we are a bit unsure on how many people are actually aware that their number is already shared on the service and then go about unlisting their number on the service.

Earlier in July this year, Truecaller had also started listing all the searched names and numbers on its website. The company mentioned that it listed only those numbers that were searched a higher amount of times and covered businesses, local restaurants, or even telemarketers, fraud, prank.

It later took down only the page that listed the numbers by country, while maintaining the separate country-specific pages and finally pulled down the page two days later.

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