Prior to this appointment, Thota was serving as the CTO at Yatra.com where he focused on developing new platforms, managing & improving the website and driving strategic initiatives as a part of the executive leadership team. He had also worked with Internet giants like Amazon.com and Yahoo! and specialised in software development.
Commenting on his move, Thota said, "Freecharge has gained a customer base of over 1.5 million in a short span of 18 months since its launch. That fact in itself is commendable and shows the great potential the company has."
For Yatra, this is yet another C-level exit within a short span of time. A few months ago, the company lost its COO Raja Natesan, who later moved to travel services firm TUI India.
Two-year-old startup Freecharge offers recharge coupons for mobile phones, DTH TV and Internet data cards. The site now claims to record 10,000 transactions a day. Freecharge also provides discount coupons of popular food joints and retailers â€“ equivalent to the recharge value. It has now more than 50 retail partners, such as McDonald's, Barista, CafÃ© Coffee Day, FastTrack, Puma, Domino's, Crossword, Croma, Shoppers Stop and Pizza Hut, besides a host of e-commerce sites. The company competes directly with the e-recharge site Paytm, which works on the same model. However, there is a differentiator as Freecharge home-delivers the coupon/s selected by a user for an additional Rs 10.
Recently, Freecharge raised Rs 20 crore from Sequoia Capital in a series A round of funding. This was in addition to the seed-funding by Sequoia Capital last year.