Truecaller, a mobile spam protection service has launched ‘Truecaller Chat’, an instant messaging platform to bolster its user numbers and revenues as the venture capital backed firm looks at ways to mint revenue for its investors.
The chat is also aimed at preventing fake news from circulating as it will allow users to report links, ensuring that fake news is not circulated unchecked by users.
In June this year, entered into the payment space by acquiring Chillr, India’s first multi-bank payments app launched in 2014 to further boost growth. Dubbed as Truecaller Pay in India in 2017, the firm says its payments platform saw a huge opportunity and growth patterns in Sub-Sahara Africa where micro-lending apps were the most popular apps after betting. With the launch of Truecaller Pay 2.0, the company brought Banking & Payments features to the forefront of its app, and the chat feature today will help it roll out credit & other financial services to the masses in a mobile-first Africa. Doing this also gives it an inch on Kenya’s mobile giant Safaricom which has more than 65 percent market share in mobile payments but has failed to scale its M-PESA system to smartphone users and outside the country.
Other lending apps such as Branch, Tala see Africa and India as their biggest loan markets even as governments move in to end unethical loans which has shifted from pawn shops to mobile apps due to the increasing access to affordable Android smartphones.
To make this possible Truecaller opened up their first office in Nairobi to expand in Sub-Sahara Africa and recruited Zakaria Hersi as Director of Partnerships for Africa to spearhead Truecaller’s expansion in the region.
With time, Truecaller also plans to apply machine learning and use the aggregated spam reports to predict any upcoming viral trends. ‘Truecaller Chat’ is bundled with interesting features such as, auto-switch between SMS and Chat, which will help users keep conversations in one place. Other features include full media support and more that will provide its users a polished and enjoyable experience.
Commenting on the launch, Zakaria Hersi, Director of partnerships, Sub Saharan Africa at Truecaller, said, “As a one-stop communication platform, our IM service will help our users connect and also collaborate to combat the issue of spam. We’re confident that this foundation stone will help build a strong spam-free community.”
On the side, Truecaller aims to be at the forefront of fighting spread of fake news due to social media’s rapid adoption across the country banking on its success in eroding spam calls faced by users through Caller ID and also strengthened SMS inboxes by filtering unwanted messages