FreeCharge, an India-based mobile commerce platform that gives users coupons and other rewards when they pay their phone, satellite television, and utility bills, has raised an $80 million series C. The round included new investors Valiant Capital Management and Tybourne Capital Management, as well as returning investors Sequoia Capital, RuNet, and Sofina.
The company says it now has a customer base of more than 20 million. Its mobile app was downloaded 10 million times last year.
Customers use FreeCharge by logging onto its website or mobile apps to top up their prepaid mobile phone plans or pay TV and utility bills. FreeCharge then emails them coupons which can be redeemed at leading e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Amazon India or in brick-and-mortar retailers such as McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, and coffee shops.
For participating vendors, FreeCharge offers insight into consumer behavior by tracking which coupons are redeemed and what products or services they are used for.
In addition to providing coupons, FreeCharge eventually plans to expand into transaction advertising. It is eyeing growth in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa.