True Bal­ance Gets .₹ 100 cr from SoftBank Ven­tures Korea, Oth­ers

De­spite the gen­eral slow­down in fund­ing, sec­tors like fin­tech and health­care con­tinue to re­cieve in­vestor funds and at­ten­tion Call­ing Home 100crFunds

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Biswarup.Gooptu @times­

New Delhi: Mo­bile bal­ance man­age­ment ser­vices startup True Bal­ance has closed an ₹ 100-crore fund­ing round, which was led by SoftBank Ven­tures Korea, a ven­ture cap­i­tal arm of the SoftBank Group, and IMM In­vest­ment.

The se­ries-B round also saw par­tic­i­pa­tion from a clutch of lead­ing South Korean in­vestors, in­clud­ing, Mega In­vest­ment, Korea De­vel­op­ment Bank and Cap­stone Part­ners, and­comesabout11­month­safterthe Gu­ru­gram-based com­pany raised an undis­closed sum in eq­uity fi­nanc­ing in a round that was also led by SoftBank Ven­tures Korea.

While the ex­act fi­nan­cial terms of the trans­ac­tion were not dis­closed, it is be­lieved that the in­vestors now hold about 10-15% stake in the twoyear-old com­pany. The lat­est in­vest­ment round has been made in South Korea-based par­ent com­pany Bal­ance Hero, which owns and op­er­ates its wholly owned In­dian sub­sidiary, Bal­ance Hero In­dia.

This, how­ever, is not an in­vest­ment from SoftBank’s new $100-bil­lion, tech­nol­ogy-fo­cussed Vi­sion raised in se­ries B

is an An­droid app that lets you check data bal­ances with­out in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity

True Bal­ance

To­tal down­loads

ac­tive users

Fund, the largest pool of pri­vate cap­i­tal as­sem­bled, and which will now be the pri­mary in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle for the Tokyo-head­quar­tered Ja­panese tele­com, tech­nol­ogy and in­ter­net gi­ant’s bets in In­dia go­ing for­ward. SoftBank Ven­tures Korea is a ven­ture cap­i­tal fund, founded in 2000 as an af­fil­i­ate of SoftBank Korea, a hold­ing com­pany of the SoftBank Group.

Founded by Cheol-won (Char­lie) Lee, True Bal­ance is an An­droid app that al­lows users to check their mo­bile call and data bal­ances, with­out the need for in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity. It pro­vides con­sumers with real-time in­for­ma­tion on the best plans and of­fers from te- lecom op­er­a­tors, and helps them earn and recharge their pre­paid mo­bile ac­counts.

“In­dia is the sec­ond-big­gest mar­ket for smart­phone users, and with 220 mil­lion users it has even sur­passed the US mar­ket in terms of ac­tive unique smart­phone users. This data speaks vol­umes for the scale of the In­dian mar­ket, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it pro­vides for any player in the mo­bile-con­nected ecosys­tem,” Lee, chief ex­ec­u­tive, True Bal­ance, said. True Bal­ance stands apart from the likes of Paytm and FreeCharge, as it fo­cusses pri­mar­ily on mo­bile bal­ance man­age­ment, com­pared to its larger peers, which have turned their fo­cus more to­wards pay­ments and mo­bile wal­let trans­ac­tions.

“We have in­tro­duced an im­por­tant fea­ture — one-click recharge, and we want to be the one-stop des­ti­na­tion for In­dian mo­bile users for their bal­ance man­age­ment,” Lee said. Ac­cord­ing to the CEO, the mo­bile app sees about 2 mil­lion daily ac­tive users, and the com­pany is now ex­plor­ing op­tions to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions to South and South-East Asia. True Bal­ance, which has clocked about 30 mil­lion down­loads, plans to set up shop in In­done­sia by the end of the year, fol­lowed by China and South Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing to Lee.

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