Truecaller, a mobile phone directory and called ID app that lets people search for other mobile users by name or number, is dialling up something else at the moment: its funding. TechCrunch has learned that the company, based out of Stockholm, Sweden with operations in Silicon Valley, has raised a Series C round of funding at a valuation of $300 million. The exact size of the round is not clear, but we have heard that it was seeking between $60 million and $80 million. The funding, a Series C, comes as Truecaller continues to see fast growth of its mobile apps — now past 60 million unique users per month, we hear.
Update: and now we’ve published the official news: it’s a $60 million round and there are 85 million users.
Previously, Truecaller had raised $20.1 million over three rounds.
From what we understand this new round is bringing in two new investors as leads, Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Atomico, the VC firm co-founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennstrom.
We think there may also be participation from previous investors in Truecaller. They include Sequoia, which led the company’s Series B round of $18.8 million announced earlier this year; Open Ocean; Access Partners and chairman Stefan Lennhammer.
We have contacted people at Truecaller, KPCB and previous investors for comment and will update as we learn more. They have not replied to my questions asking to verify my facts except to ask if I would be willing to accept an embargo — which could mean I am on to something.
For those of you not familiar with Truecaller, it has a some things in common with another fast-growing app, WhatsApp: it’s a mobile-focused service that up to now seen most of its growth outside of the U.S.; and it provides a very useful feature that offers a way to cross the mobile silos that have grown up around mobile services — around platforms, carriers and apps.
The service has been a hit in countries that have a high number of mobile users still using phones largely for calls (or apps that use phone numbers to connect people, like WhatsApp), but little in the way of directory services to help users find each other.
Truecaller’s platform aggregates existing directory services via deals with white pages companies, and platforms like Yelp to bring in businesses. It complements that with crowdsourced information from the app’s users. That includes accessing your own address book, although you can opt out from that. Individual users can also opt out from being listed. It also offers filters to screen spam callers and proudly tells you how many annoying calls it’s saved you from getting, as you can see in the illustration above.
The growth outside of the U.S. has spawned some interesting developments at the company, such as this integration with Twitter, where users find friends on Twitter based on their phone numbers, and then follow and tweet to them, all via the Truecaller app.
The relative lack of traction in the U.S. has also been something that the company has been looking to change: its Series B funding was focused specifically on helping to grow its U.S. user base. This may have also been part of the motivation behind Truecaller also being interested in acquiring MessageMe, which ultimately went to Yahoo, as we reported last week. In any case, it seems that Arjun Sethi, the co-founder of MessageMe, lists himself as an advisor and/or investor of the company.
When we covered the company’s Series B in February, its traffic was around 45 million unique users per month. Today that figure is closer to 60 million, we have heard. The company says that it currently indexes around 1.5 billion names and numbers, with the number growing.
But while traffic is on the rise, so are costs at the company. Accounts filed in its home country of Sweden show that the company reported a net loss of about $2.3 million (17,114,000 Kronor) in 2013, up nine times the net loss in 2012. Net sales were nearly level at about $870,000 (6,401,000 Kronor).
Those numbers are of course nothing in the bigger game for users and sticky and useful mobile services, especially in coveted, fast-growing mobile markets.
“They have a couple of very cool things that are coming out,” our source says, “especially for Android.”