Truecaller acquires Kochi startup Chillr in bid to gain foothold in payments business

In a major boost to the nascent startup ecosystem in Kerala, Kochi-based multi-bank payment startup Chillr was on Wednesday acquired by Swedish giant Truecaller.

Published: 14th June 2018 02:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2018 02:42 AM   |  A+A-

Truecaller chief strategy officer Nami Zarringhalam (third from left) and co-founder Alan Mamedi (second from right) pose with Chillr co-founders (from left) Sony Joy, Anoop Sankar, Lishoy Bhaskaran and Mohammed Galib

By Express News Service

KOCHI:In a major boost to the nascent startup ecosystem in Kerala, Kochi-based multi-bank payment startup Chillr was on Wednesday acquired by Swedish giant Truecaller. The move comes in the backdrop of the Stockholm-based company’s attempts to gain a foothold in the booming payments business in India.
This is the second major acquisition of a Kerala startup by a big overseas company.

In August 2016, Kochi startup Profoundis was acquired by US-based FullContact for an undisclosed amount.The Chillr co-founders said the deal is one of the biggest acquisitions from the state till now, though they refused to divulge the figures for the same.

Co-founded by four Malayalees — Sony Joy, Anoop Sarkar, Mohamed Galib and Lishoy Bhaskaran — in 2014, the payments startup now employs 40 people and has offices in Mumbai and Kochi.
In their last round of funding in 2015, Chillr had raised close to $8 million with investments led by Sequoia Capital.

The 40 employees, including the co-founders, will be joining the Indian arm of Truecaller to be based out of Bengaluru. Sony Joy will take charge as the vice-president of Truecaller Pay.Commenting on the development, Sony Joy said they had realised that both companies share a lot of synergies, values, cultures and a sharp focus on user experience.

“Our roadmap on payments and financial services which, when combined with the scale and resources of Truecaller, can create amazing experiences and solve genuine problems at an accelerated pace,” said Joy.
Truecaller’s chief strategy officer Nami Zarringhalam said, “By acquiring Chillr, we are strengthening our plans to increase mobile payments adoption among our user base.”

$8 mn Money raised by Chillr in last round of funding in 2015

It’s a big deal
This is the second major acquisition of a Kerala startup by a big overseas company
In August 2016, Kochi startup Profoundis was acquired by US-based FullContact
Payments startup Chillr employs 40 people and has offices in Mumbai and Kochi

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