With over 150 million users in India, Truecaller claims to have logged an almost 50% jump in its user base post the launch of 4G service by Reliance Jio. Truecaller CEO and co-founder Alan Mamedi tells FE’s Anushree Bhattacharyya the company plans to turn profitable by 2017-end. Edited excerpts:
What is India’s contribution in the overall revenue earned by Truecaller?
India is our largest markets in terms of revenue. We are looking at a long-term play in India, working towards building a company which last for 100 years. In 2013, the cost of customer acquisition in India stood at 10 cents, while today it costs $1.5. With the economy growing the business is also growing and so are the cost attached to it. However, we don’t spend a single penny on acquiring a new customer, which has helped us keeping the cost under control. Whatever we earn from the Indian market, we are investing the money back, to further grow the business.
What is the split between advertising and subscription-based revenue?
Last year, we started to build our advertising platform to make sure that we can provide ads which are relevant to consumers. The idea is that ads on the app should not appear to be intrusive to users. Our recent tie-up with Google allows us to use the data management platform (DMP) of Google, to be able to store and manage audience data. A large part of our revenue is advertising driven. In terms of financial, we are a very healthy company. By this year-end, we will turn profitable on a monthly basis.
What are the plans to beef up the premium content?
At present, our premium users get an advertising-free experience besides being able to send contact requests to people, which allows a person to add him or her on the list. Then the customer gets a premium batch for R60 per month. We plan to make our premium content more compelling. The idea is to make a transformation to a communication app from just being a calling app.
What are your plans for increasing the workforce and investments in India?
We are investing in people in India. We started by opening one office in Delhi a few years ago, and today we have offices both in Delhi and Bengaluru. We will grow our engineering team in Bengaluru and take the total head count to 85. Currently we in total have 20 staffers in India. At a global level, we are a team of 85 people managing 250 million users.