55444 Truecaller

Bangalore based Innoz which offers an SMS based search engine 55444 has partnered with the Swedish global phone directory service Truecaller to allow users look up for mobile and landline numbers via SMS. This was first reported by NextBigWhat.

The company says the service is live in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Dubai and users can send an SMS to 55444 in the following format “TRACE <10 digit mobile number>”, following which they will receive an SMS with information like the person’s name, their service provider, region and service type (GSM or CDMA). Users will be charged Rs 1 per query. When we checked, we also noticed that it offers an unlimited search feature at Rs 30 per month.

The partnership period or the terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Innoz CEO Deepak Ravindran told TechCircle that it has a revenue-sharing agreement with Truecaller, however he didn’t disclose the exact ratio to the publication. Going forward, the company also plans to extend the service to Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin American countries.

Targeting the feature phone market? Through this partnership, Truecaller is probably looking to reach out to the feature phone segment in the country, considering that India is still primarily a feature phone market. Last month, Truecaller had claimed to have clocked 20 million users globally last month, up from 10 million users in January 2013.

Truecaller had previously claimed that majority of its users are from India, although it hadn’t disclosed any specific information on its Indian user base. An ET report suggests that the company had 1.6 million users in India as of June 2012 and accounted for half of the company’s userbase. With the total base growing to 20 million in the past year, we are a bit curious on how many of these are Indian users.

In May 2013, Truecaller had also released its API to select developers, after testing it privately with select developers for few months. The company claimed that this API will offer features like reverse number lookup, spam score (if the number is a spammer or not) and true score (if the number is still in use or not) among others.

On the other hand, Innoz offers an on demand search service on the short code 55444. The company had claimed to have clocked 120 million active users and one billion search queries in December 2012 and had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Seedfund in May 2012.

It had opened up the 55444 platform to third party developers and launched the 55444 Appstore in May 2012. The app store claimed to have more than 2,500 apps from more than 2,000 developers as of December 2012.

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