Home/ Industry / FreeCharge launches new service to promote online shopping

Bangalore: FreeCharge, an online mobile phone recharging platform, is launching a service that will promote online shopping through its website and mobile platforms by giving cashback offers to shoppers who use the service to buy products on e-commerce sites.

FreeCharge will show offerings from e-commerce sites, including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Yatra, on its platforms. Any user routed through FreeCharge who buys products on these sites will then get cashback and promotions on FreeCharge, chief executive Alok Goel said in an interview.

FreeCharge, which received $33 million in funds last month, offers promotions or discounts every time a customer uses the platform for a recharge. These promotions are available for use on a variety of places such as restaurants, fast food chains, coffee chains and e-commerce sites.

The new service, which went live this week, is in effect the reverse of the company’s existing service.

“We have basically created a shopping gateway. The idea is to promote online shopping and delight customers. Unlike some of our rivals, we are very clear that we don’t want to compete with Amazon and other e-commerce sites," Goel said. “We’re just facilitating and enabling online shopping. This allows us to tie up with all players in the market as they don’t look at us as a rival."

FreeCharge has 10 million transacting users across its platforms, the highest among e-commerce firms.

The company is targeting 1 million daily transactions by March 2015, Goel said.

“We want to become the most effective ad platform in India. We have rich data on buying habits of users both offline and online. This gives us an edge over others," he said.

FreeCharge launched its mobile app last December and the company now gets roughly 80% of its transactions from the mobile.

Kunal Shah of Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd started FreeCharge in 2011. The company raised 20 crore from Sequoia Capital in 2011. Earlier this year, FreeCharge bought Tyched Web Services Pvt. Ltd, owner of social wishlist site Wishberg.com. In August, the company purchased Preburn Pvt. Ltd, a start-up that aims to distribute applications through mobile retail stores.

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Updated: 11 Oct 2014, 12:12 PM IST
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