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Sweden's Truecaller Gets $60 Million From Atomico, Kleiner Perkins

"Behind every phone number is a lot of information that can be quite handy."


While a better version of Caller ID may not sound like a huge idea, some notable investors are betting that Sweden’s Truecaller is on to something big.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Atomico are leading a fresh $60 million round for Truecaller, with Kleiner’s John Doerr, Atomico’s Mattias Ljungman and investor Jerry Murdock all joining the company’s board. Atomico founder Niklas Zennstrom will also serve as a special adviser on the board.

“Behind every phone number is a lot of information that can be quite handy or useful,” said Truecaller founder and CEO Alan Mamedi.

Truecaller aims to not only share who is on the other end of a call, but also more information, including mutual contacts. The app is entirely free at this point and works on both iOS and Android, although the Apple version is more limited. On Android, the app can automatically fetch and display incoming call information, while on iOS a user has to take a screenshot of the call and ask Truecaller to look it up.

The app has quietly built up more than 85 million users who call on the service to let them know who is on the other end of incoming calls, even when they aren’t in the phone owner’s address book.

Initially both Truecaller and rival Mr. Number relied on users’ address books to help bulk up a crowdsourced database of caller information. However, Google banned that practice, with Mr. Number forced to change gears before ultimately being acquired by Whitepages.

Mamedi said that Truecaller was already working on its own crawling engine and other techniques to build up its caller database. These days, the service focuses on allowing users to set the level of information they want to share, as well as building its own social graph of how people are connected. It says it now has over a billion numbers in its system.

The new funding will help the company expand its offices in Stockholm and India and open one in San Francisco. And there aren’t plans to start charging any time soon.

“Right now, we are heads down on the product,” Mamedi said. “Of course monetization is important and we have a lot of ideas.”

And of course, you can hear Zennstrom talk about Truecaller and more when he appears later this month onstage at our Code/Mobile conference, which takes place Oct. 27-28 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Zennstrom is part of a lineup that includes Apple’s Greg Joswiak, Lotus Notes pioneer Ray Ozzie and Kim Kardashian West, as well as the heads of YouTube, Motorola, WhatsApp and Instagram.

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