India: SoftBank-backed fintech firm True Balance raises $23m bridge round

Photo: True Balance website

Gurgaon-based digital payments firm True Balance has reportedly raised $23 million in a bridge round from a clutch of foreign institutional investors.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Japan-based Line Ventures Corporation, Korean search engine Naver, Korean lender Shinhan Bank, TS Investment and other investors participated in this latest round.

In February last year, True Balance had raised nearly $15 million (Rs 100 crore) in a Series B funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, the venture capital arm of Japan’s SoftBank, and IMM Investment. Prior to that, it had raised Series A funding of an undisclosed amount from SoftBank.

The True Balance app was founded by a South Korean expatriate Charlie (Cheolwon) Lee, for balance check, call log, data pack assessment, and recharge service for prepaid accounts on Android smartphones. It also provides real-time information on best plans and offers from telecom operators, and helps users earn and recharge their prepaid mobile accounts.

According to the latest news report, the company is now planning to offer multiple payment options, including bill payments and recharges. The move follows True Balance receiving a digital wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India.

According to the True Balance website, the app has seen over 30 million downloads since its launch in September 2014. It was reported last year that the company also had plans to expand overseas, starting with Indonesia, followed by China and South America.

Prior to starting True Balance, Lee was president and CEO of Access Mobile, a Seoul-based provider of value-added mobile services, which counted Vodafone and Idea among its customers.

In the mobile wallet segment, True Balance competes with the likes of Paytm, Mobikwik and Flipkart’s PhonePe, besides Amazon Pay.

Also Read:

India: Softbank Korea, IMM Investment lead $15m Series B funding in True Balance

True Balance raises Series A funding from Softbank Ventures

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.