SoftBank-backed True Balance changes business model, turns into mobile wallet company
IN ITS CURRENT AVATAR, TRUE BALANCE ALLOWS USERS TO CHECK THEIR BANK BALANCE AND THEIR MOBILE DATA BALANCE APART FROM OFFERING RECHARGE SERVICE.
True Balance, the app that facilitated checking your bank balance on your mobile, has since pivoted and has entered the mobile wallet space, reportsVCCircle. Balancehero India, is the name of the company that operates this app and is backed by SoftBank Ventures Korea, the South Korean arm of Japan’s SoftBank.
With the company having already obtained the license to operate pre-paid instruments from the Reserve Bank of India, it will now offer the mobile wallet and the peer-to-peer transfer services. The company has acknowledged this switch to Plan B in its business objectives and claims this is being done to enhance income and stay engaged with their customers better. The license issued by RBI is valid till September 2019.
In its current avatar, True Balance allows the users to check their bank balance and also their mobile data balance apart from a recharge service. The balance checking can be done on any Android run mobile even if there is no internet connection. True Balance claims its app has been downloaded from the Google Play Store more than 50 million times.
With the new business model, the startup will have to contend with established players like Mobikwik and Paytm who offer a range of services, like bill payments, travel booking and even shopping as in Paytm Mall. In fact, Paytm has since launched Paytm Bank.
The promoter of Balancehero India, is a Korean national, Lee, who came to India in 2002 and has settled here ever since. His startup is said to have received a series A funding in 2016 from SoftBank Ventures Korea, though the amount invested is not disclosed. One more tranche, this time as part of series B fund raising, also saw SoftBank and other investors pitching in with $15 million. The other investors included M Investment Group, Mega Investment, Korea Development Bank and Capston Partners, the last three being all from S. Korea.
Incidentally, SoftBank is one of the major investors in Paytm too.