‘True Balance’ expects 100 mn downloads
Check, buy, recharge and track your balance
True Balance, an app was launched by ‘Balance Hero’ in India by Cheol-Won Lee, in 2014. Lee is a South Korean expatriate in Gurgaon. True Balance converts a text message with available balance to infographics. This helps the users to easily check on the balance, purchase a prepaid account, recharge the balance and track the data usage.
Lee has received many prestigious awards such as Global ICT CEO by Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea in August 2013. The other awards include Ministry Export Award by Ministry of Industry and Export, Korea in December 2013. He was the CEO of Access Mobile from 2006 until 2014.
In an invigorating discourse he shares his entrepreneurial journey in India with our correspondent:
True Balance is enabled by the engine technology for automated text messages translation. This was developed in-house and it is patent-pending in Korea and India. This technology is available for prepaid mobile phone users who use services from nine telecommunication providers from across 22 major regions in India. Given the low-bandwidth in India, it enables users to check their balance in real-time even when the data-service is not available for their mobile phones.
We are focusing on providing a solution to efficiently manage mobile usage in low-bandwidth countries such as India. We are committed to creating a world where users could communicate freely with each other at a reasonable cost.
From 2006 till 2014, we focused on VAS (Value Added Services) for Telecommunications Company in Asian countries including India. Access Mobile has been providing various VAS to Indian telcos along with other Asian telcos. After smart-phone came out, I made a decision to get into application business in 2014.We researched various markets and items and concluded that India is the marketplace for size, growth rate, and early stage market. We also found that balance check needs to be digitalized for smart-phone era, especially for prepaid dual phone users. This led to the conception of True Balance.
We started with 300K USD invested by me and my co-founders- Yisik Kim, CSO, Jay Lee, CCO – Product and UX Expert and Martin Lee, CTO. True Balance is currently headquartered in Gurgaon and operates from two offices in Seoul and Gurgaon. We have a multicultural workforce of more than 80 Korean and Indian employees. Gurgaon takes care of marketing, CS, QA & operation while Seoul takes care of development and design. We generally hire employees using LinkedIn profiles.
User friendliness makes the app unique
The most important thing which attracts maximum customers is the easy and quick balance check for dual SIM prepaid users, without data connection. True Balance is the one and only balance check based recharge application, which offers automatic recommendations and alarms with best suited pack based on usage analysis. We call this one-click recharge. Users don’t have to manually check their validity and remaining data/call pack any longer.
Our investors value our vision of emerging as a credible mobile balance check
True Balance has successfully completed Series A and Series B funding rounds as its growth potential was recognized. The first funding was announced in 2015 by Bonangels. Funding for series A and series B were announced in 2016 and 2017 respectively, raised by Soft Bank Ventures Korea and others.
True Balance has raised Rs 100 crore in a Series B round of funding earlier this year from existing investor, SoftBank Ventures Korea and new investors- IMM Investment, Mega Investment, Korea Development Bank, and Capston Partners.
Our investors value our vision which is to be a credible mobile balance check and recharge application for 1.3 billion Indian users, which could be the base for many businesses. Gyu Hak (Greg) Moon, president and CEO, SoftBank Ventures Korea has called True Balance their most impressive investment till now.
The app passed the 10 million download mark in July 2016 in just 19 months into launch. It has been ranked as the top Lifestyle app at the Google Play Store. In 2016, it was selected as Google Play Store's App Starter Kit (a set of the most popular apps in the country). True Balance app has passed 40 million downloads today and we expect the number to hit 100 million by December 2017.
Buoyed by this we aspire to be the biggest mobile recharge service provider based on mobile balance check feature. We also want to expand to become an end-to-end balance-related service provider within one app. We are looking at expanding into other markets and hiring quality talent in India as well. There are plans to utilize the funding to improve user convenience through upgrades to reach 100 million downloads in 2017.
The startup industry is growing faster than a beanstalk. The industry is huge and growing daily, and there is no end in sight. We need more creative and passionate players to cope with such a dynamic industry. We are also at the threshold of a bright future for a mobile revolution in India. The country will remain an important pillar for our growth story as it proved to be so far.
Do you think a mobile balance information service will make life easier for us? Do share your story.