True Balanceis an application that Balance Hero launched in India in 2014. In India, 95% of the population uses a pre-paid mobile plan, hence the app was developed due to the necessity of checking balance and recharging. True Balance has shifted mobile balance alerts from text to infographics and made it convenient for users to easily check the balance, purchase pre-paid plans and track data usage. As of July 2016 (in just 19 months from its first release), 10 million people downloaded the application and by February 2017, the number doubled.
Currently working for Prepaid service users, True Balance covers 9 telecommunications network providers in over 22 circles of the country and was the first company to launch Jio Balance check and recharge.
In 2016, the app was selected in the App Starter Kit (collection of most used apps in the country) on the Play Store and has ranked No. 1 in the lifestyle app category. The app currently has over 50 million downloads and counting.
True Balance enables pre-paid smartphone customers to track the consumption of balance and mobile data.
Once a user launches the application, he/she gets the following benefits – display one’s remaining balance, rate cutter pack expiry date, the amount of data available for usage, call pack expiry date, and promo balance remaining & expiry date and plenty more!
The competitive advantages of True Balance app are:-
1. The app features a shortcut bar on the notification tray which shows current balance, available internet data and active packs for both SIMS – without being connected to the internet!
2. Superior UI and UX designs compared to other similar apps
3. Quick and safe recharge feature – one tap recharge
4. Low balance and pack expiry alerts
5. First company in India to make Jio balance check and recharge available for our users, no other company has done this till now.
6. The ability to track data which is being consumed by apps running in the background
7. Allows users to track their all-time deductions history which helps users to plan their expenditure in advance and recommends recharge plans based on past data usage.
8. The app recommends the best pack based on user’s usage. For example, if the user uses 100MB a week, we recommend the best weekly pack for 100MB usage and so on.
The True Balance App ranked 13th position in the Lifestyle category and 334th position overall for India in January 2016. The App crossed 10 million downloads in July 2016 in just 19 months after it was officially launched in India. As the app grew in its popularity, Google Play Store added True Balance to its main page in July 2016 further consolidating its leading position and was featured for 10 days. The app ranked 1st position in the Lifestyle category and was at the 16th position in all apps category as on September 2016.
Investments made so far
Reaching 50 million downloads marks a major milestone for the True Balance app which has taken giant strides since its inception back in 2014. Balance Hero, the parent company for True Balance App, attracted the 1st investment from Bon Angels on March 2015 & Series-A investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea on April 2016. Within the first year of investment, there was a 3000 percent growth in app downloads, showcasing the company’s growth & success of the product.
It raised another Rs.100 crores as part of Series B round of funding from existing investor SoftBank Ventures Korea and new investors including IMM Investment, Mega Investment, Korea Development Bank, and Capston Partners in November 2016. True Balance app crossed 30 million downloads by November 2016 – 24 months into its launch and 50 million downloads by September. The app is now targeting 100 million downloads by the end of 2017.
Such impressive has been its growth that SoftBank called True Balance ‘its most impressive investment till date’ during the second round of funding.
“Within the first year of investment, there was 3000% growth in app downloads, and this denotes the company’s growth. Due to rapid expansion of Indian market, the company’s estimated potential seems to be even greater,” said Gyu Hak Moon, president and chief executive of SoftBank Ventures Korea.
Founder and CEO of Balance Hero
Cheol-won Lee is the Founder and CEO of Balance Hero, which is a startup founded in 2014. Prior to that, Lee was the president and CEO of Access mobile, a provider of customized mobile solutions that address business and social needs. He was also associated with RealNetworks as the head of business for the Asia Pacific region.
The future ahead
Looking forward, the company doesn’t plan on resting on its laurels and aims to expand its services to postpaid users as well which will further give a boost to this platform in India, whose perpetually evolving digital landscape is becoming more and more conducive for growth of such apps.
Talking about the company’s future plans for Indian market, Lee said “We see a bright future for the mobile revolution here and thus India will remain an important pillar to our growth story as it has proved to be so far. India will eventually become a new global gateway for all services.”
Bets big on Indian market
Cheol-won Lee is originally from Korea but has been based out of India for more than a decade. In India, 95% of the population uses a pre-paid mobile plan, and hence the app was developed due to the necessity of checking balance and recharging.
According to Lee, “India is the second biggest market for smartphone users and with over 300 million users it has even surpassed the US market in terms of active unique smartphone users. This data speaks volumes for the scale of the Indian market provides for any player in the mobile-connected ecosystem. Keeping the potential of smartphone penetration in developing countries in mind, we thought India was the ideal choice for us to launch our balance check app business. A growing user base, increasing number of mobile internet users and favorable government policies have also helped in making India’s business operating environment conducive for start-ups.”