Online recharging and couponing site Freecharge.in has raised $33 million in a Series B round of funding from Sofina, Sequoia Capital and RuNet. The company will use the funds to build up its advertising platform, which allows brands to target users based on their online and offline purchases.
Freecharge.in works by offering its users options to pay utility bills or recharge mobile phones via its website or mobile app. On selecting the type of recharge, users are given options to pick a free or paid coupon of their choice near the value of their recharge, which is subsequently mailed to them. Payments can be made via debit/credit cards, net banking or cash cards.
The platform currently supports recharges for prepaid and postpaid mobile operators including Docomo, Airtel, Aircel, Reliance, Uninor, Virgin CDMA/GSM, MTS and Vodafone among others, DTH operators including DishTV, Reliance Digital, Airtel Digital, Sun Direct, Tata Sky and Videocon D2H and major prepaid data card providers including MTSBlaze, Airtel, BSNL, TATA Photon etc. It offers coupons from various online and offline businesses like flipkart, McDonald, amazon.in, Domino’s pizza, ebay.in, Costa coffee, Jabong.com, Barista, infibeam.com, KFC etc.
Founded in 2010, Freecharge had raised Rs 20 crore from Sequoia in 2012 following a seed investment by the company in 2011. Last month, the company acquired the offline app store Preburn and had its team join Freecharge after the company had Pravin Jadhav and Kulin Shah from the now defunct social wishlist site Wishberg join in July. The company also appointed a new CEO, Alok Goel, in September last year who took over from founder and erstwhile CEO Kunal Shah. In April this year, COO Deap Ubhi, who had joined the company in May 2012, quit to join Amazon US as a part of its AWS team.
– Online recharge portal Paytm introduced a new online shopping section, extending its mobile-only physical goods market to the web in June this year. The company had previously introduced bus ticket bookings in December 2012.