Recharging a prepaid phone back in the day was a huge task. One had to drive to a shop where they would have different handsets for different networking companies. Then a plan to select from the huge brochure and typing your number, and wait for the recharge to happen. This was a lot of things although it doesn’t sound like it. Recharging was surely a task which required separate time a decade ago.
However, a company changed that in 2010. Freecharge by Kunal Shah came into existence. Now, as the name suggests Freecharge is surely a recharge platform but it doesn’t recharge your phone for free. That was the major concern of some people before. That said, Freecharge was born in August of 2010 and by the end of that year, it had already received a huge amount of funding from Tandon Group and Sequoia Capital.
A year later, it received another Series A funding of $200 from Sequoia Capital which increased the worth of the company and in turn of Kunal Shah. Kunal Shah’s idea was a great one and it was awarded as the most promising startup by Pluggd.in in 2011. However, it lost its place in the market, it was first bought by Snapdeal for $400 million and then sold to Axis Bank for just $60 million. One can understand the downfall of the e-commerce and fintech company. However, Kunal Shah was out of the picture during the first deal itself.
He cut all ties with the company and carried out a huge sum of money with him. However, he is now back with another interesting idea. Now, almost every working class person owns a credit card. Everyone pays their credit dues at the end of the month but no one gets a reward for doing that on time. However, Cred, a venture by Kunal Shah will reward you by giving out Cred coins. These coins can be cashed in on different platforms which are partnered with Cred such as Bookmyshow, Airbnb, FreshMenu, ixigo, CureFit and many more.
Users or customers for that matter, also get access to CRED Protect. CRED Protect uses artificial intelligence which helps people with card usage statistics, due date reminders, spend patterns and many such features. The users are eligible to these features if their Credit Score is more than 750. This score depends on how a person is paying their loans and ranges from anywhere between 300 to 900 with 300 being the lowest and 900 the highest.
This startup has already earned funding from huge investors. The investment is not that big but the trust is huge. Sequoia Capital has invested around $25 million that is approximately INR 177 crore. According to Economic Times, Cred’s future plans are to venture in the insurance side of the business. Kunal has invested in more than 40 startups till date and this is his own.
– Unmesh Phule