SoftBank Korea has invested an undisclosed amount in Series A funding in Gurgaon-based True Balance, reports TechCircle. True Balance is an app that allows users to check their mobile phone balance. The startup will use the funds for product enhancement and expansion.
True Balance, operated by Balance Hero Co Ltd, was launched in September 2014 by Charlie (Cheolwon) Lee. The Korean entrepreneur came to India in 2002 as the India head for Real Networks.
True Balance allows uses to check their balance as soon as they make a call. It also tracks the amount of data used and can also track balances on dual SIM phones. True Balance began its operations in the Delhi-NCR region and has now branched out to six telecom circles. A full list of the circles and operators supported here.
SoftBank Korea’s move comes as a surprise as its parent group has been scaling down its investments. In July 2015, the company discontinued its venture capital arm SoftBank Capital. The company will no longer make small bets in early-stage companies and instead focus on bigger investments in more mature businesses.
However, during the Startup India, Standup India event, chairman Masayoshi Son said SoftBank will accelerate its investments in India in the forthcoming future. He said they’ve “already invested around $2 billion over the past year and even if they rescale, it will only go up”.
Changes in leadership
Earlier this month, SoftBank Group split into two organizations which will look into domestic and global operations. Nikesh Arora, SoftBank’s Group’s chief operating officer, is now the CEO of the global operations. SoftBank, in a release, said that Arora will also be continuing his role of COO at SoftBank Group.
Recent investments by SoftBank
– Earlier in January, Real estate portal Housing announced that it has secured a fresh round of funding of Rs 100 crore from Softbank, its largest investor. The company said the funding will be used to drive its new strategy and growth plans.
– In November 2015, hyperlocal delivery service provider Grofers raised $120 million in a round of funding from SoftBank, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, with participation from existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.
– In August 2015, ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal raised $500 million in funding led by Foxconn, Alibaba and existing investor Softbank, with participation from other existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and PremjiInvest.
– In August, branded budget hotel rooms service OYO Rooms raised $100 million in a funding round led by SoftBank group and participation from existing investors Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed India.