Co-founder Nami Zarringhalam speaks about the growth of the app and the scuffle with Google
In the second part of the conversation with Kiruba Shanker, Nami Zarringhalam speaks about the choosing to work on the Truecaller project, being blacklisted from Google for a whole year and still growing organically worldwide. Here are some excerpts. Watch the full video for the entire conversation. You can check out the first part here.
What happened after you guys hit 10,000 downloads in a week?
We decided to committ to TrueCaller and we want to build on it. You have to pick on horse that you want to bet on, as an entrepreneur, and not chase 3 rabbits. For us it happened to be in a domain that we very much loved and we saw the opportunities it gave. We were already gadget geeks and it was going to be something big.
On monetising Truecaller, and bringing in investors
We experimented with monetising the service from the beginning. The first version of TrueCaller cost around $7.99; it was a one-time fee to download the App. We kept decreasing the price till we realised we were getting as much returns as we had invested, until we had nothing to decrease. Then we started to look for funds and decided to raise funds from a VC. It was the most logical step to take considering that we already had a product that had traction. It was just a question of either scaling or monetising, in order to break even first.
On the app gaining traction organically
The only time we paid to gain traction in a region was the one time in 2012, when we spent about €2000 to acquire users in Jordan.
Organic growth also came from the other platforms that we supported like Symbian and these users used Truecaller because of our partnership with Nokia. When Nokia stopped releasing handsets, the users bought new Android phones and downloaded Truecaller.