E-recharge Start-up Freecharge Raises Rs 20Cr From Sequoia Capital
Freecharge.in, an 18-month-old recharge portal run by Mumbai-based Accelyst Solutions Pvt Ltd, has raised Rs 20 crore ($3.9 million) from Sequoia Capital in its series A round of funding.
Freecharge had also received an undisclosed seed funding from Sequoia Capital last year.
Launched in 2010, the portal offers recharge coupons for mobile phones, DTH TV and Internet data cards. The site has grown its customer base to 1.5 million and currently records 10,000 transactions a day. Freecharge also provides discount coupons of popular food joints and retailers, equivalent to the recharge value. It has now more than 50 retail partners like McDonald's, Barista, CafÃ© Coffee Day, FastTrack, Puma, Domino's, Crossword, Croma, Shoppers Stop, Pizza Hut and a host of e-commerce websites.
The fund raised will be used to add new products and merchants who can use Freecharge to target consumers and promote their products/services. The site is also looking to grow its user base.
Shailendra Singh, managing director of Sequoia Capital said, "Freecharge has created a new online model, enabled by couponing. We were attracted because it isn't another daily deals site, but one that leverages a localised phenomenon of pre-paid mobile and DTH services to generate demand for large merchants. Freecharge allows merchants to publicise offers for which consumers pay a small fee, thereby establishing very strong intent."
A few days ago, Sequoia Capital, along with Omidyar, invested Rs 27 crore in an online health store Healthkart.com.