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True Balance gets $23M from Line, Naver, Shinhan Bank and others

True Balance, a digital wallet and financial services platform, has received a new tranche of $23 million funding from a consortium of investors including Japan-based global messenger Line Ventures Corporation, Korean search engine Naver, Korean bank Shinhan Bank along with TS Investment and other partners.

The company said in its statement that it will use the fresh infusion of capital towards talent acquisition and expanding its financial services.

Including the latest tranche, the company has raised $42 million in funding so far. Previous rounds of funding saw participation from investors such as Soft Bank Ventures, Bon Angels, Mega InvestmentIMM Investment, Korea Development Bank and other partners. Before this round, the company received funds in two rounds from SoftBank Ventures in the past: $15 million in February 2017 along with other investors, and an undisclosed amount in March 2016.

True Balance is an app that displays usage data to mobile users in India, similar to Google’s Datally; it also supports carrier recharges. The app covers bill management and payment of prepaid (10 networks across 22 circles) and Postpaid (Idea, Airtel and Vodafone) services in India. Adding to these services, True Balance has also launched its mobile wallet and is looking to foray into overall utility payments. In India, True Balance got a mobile wallet license from the RBI earlier this year, after which it started rolling out its mobile wallet service in the country. Launched in 2014 by Balance Hero, the True Balance app claims that its application has been downloaded 50 million times, but that does not give an indication whether they are users of the wallet.

Other balance tracking apps include SmartBroMubble, and Freecharge’s Juice. Earlier this year, Amazon started experimenting with mobile recharges on its Amazon Pay wallet.

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In India, True Balance will have to deal with the RBI’s onerous guidelines, increased net worth requirements, KYC and the likely linking of wallets with Aadhaar. Wallet issuers will also have to submit the list of merchants acquired by it to the escrow bank and update the same from time to time.

However, the guidelines did dangle interoperability for wallet companies who complied with the increased KYC norms. In the first phase, wallet issuers (both bank and non-bank entities) shall make all KYC compliant wallets interoperable amongst themselves through the UPI within 6 months. This means that a user can transfer money from a Paytm account to a MobiKwik account if they are KYC compliant. Subsequently, it will allow interoperability with bank accounts and cards as well.

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