True Balance raises $15M Cr led by SoftBank Korea, IMM Investment

True Balance raises Rs 100 Cr led by SoftBank Ventures Korea & IMM Investment Corp

Mobile balance management startup True Balance stands apart from the likes of Paytm and Freecharge, as it focuses primarily on mobile balance management.

True Balance raises Rs 100 Cr led by SoftBank Ventures Korea & IMM Investment CorpMobile balance management services startup True Balance has closed a INR 100 crore (US$15M) funding round that has been led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, a venture capital arm of the SoftBank Group, and IMM Investment Corp.

The Series B round also saw participation from a clutch of leading South Korean investors, including, Mega Investment, Korea Development Bank and Capston Partners, and comes about 11 months after the Gurgaon 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 two year-old company. The latest investment round has been made in to 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-focused Vision 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.

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SoftBank Ventures Korea is a venture capital fund founded in 2000 as an affiliate of SoftBank Korea, a holding company of 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 telecom 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 focuses 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.

“The most impressive investment of the previous year was Balance hero…Within the first year of investment, there was 3000% growth in app downloads, and this denotes the company’s growth. Due to rapid expansion of Indian market, the company’s estimated potential seems to be even greater,” said Gyu Hak Moon, president and chief executive of SoftBank Ventures Korea.

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