Freecharge, India’s leading digital payments platform, has appointed Govind Rajan as the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
In a related move, Kunal Shah, currently the CEO of Freecharge will now be the Chairman of the company. Kunal Shah is the co-founder of the company, along with Sandeep Tandon.
In April 2015, Snapdeal had acquired Freecharge in the biggest deal that the e-commerce sector has seen in India till date.
Commenting on the elevation of Govind Rajan, Kunal Shah says, “Govind has led with great insight and initiative. His understanding of the payments industry and its future trends is equally matched by his discipline and ability to get things done. In Govind, we have an exceptional leader, who will lead Freecharge to become the No 1 player in the payments ecosystem in the country. ”
Reacting to the appointment, Govind Rajan says, “Freecharge is built on a robust foundation of cutting-edge technology, superlative customer experience and a deep understanding of consumer needs. Kunal has built a great tech team and an iconic brand. It is a privilege to take the baton from him. We are fortunate to have his guidance as the Chairman and mentor-in-chief. I am very excited to carry forward our mission to build Freecharge as India’s digital payments OS.”
In his previous stints, Govind was the Chief Marketing Officer (B2C) at Bharti Airtel and concurrently also served as the CEO for Airtel Money. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Govind has spend the first 15 years of his professional life at Hindustan Unilever, where he served in various marketing and leadership roles. Govind’s experience of nearly twenty years has seen him drive exceptional results across building market share, driving revenue and building marketing capabilities.
Since the launch of the wallet, Freecharge has built its entire proposition around swift payments and ease of use. With its under 10-seconds payment time and a 99 per cent success rate, Freecharge is leading the way to make digital payments both reliable and frictionless. Its user interface has set benchmarks in customer experience, evident from a 70 per cent loyalty rate and a usage rate of more than 5 times a month, pegging it way ahead of peers on both counts.
Freecharge allows its customers to make prepaid, post-paid, DTH and Electricity bill payments for numerous utility service providers in addition to leading online and offline merchants. FreeCharge has over 30 million registered users and is PCI DSS compliant for information security.
FreeCharge was started in August, 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon. After getting seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Tandon Group and Sequoia Capital in 2010, the company secured Series A funding of Rs 200 million from Sequoia Capital in 2011. In November 2012, the company claimed to be doing online recharge of INR 6 million on a daily basis, translating to INR 2.19 billion a year.
In 2011, FreeCharge was named one of the most promising technology startups from India by Pluggd.in.
On 1 September, 2014 Freecharge received $33Million Series B Funding from Sequoia Capital, Sofina and Ru-Net. One of the biggest fund raising by an Indian Technology Startup. On 6 February, 2015, FreeCharge further raised $80Million from Hong Kong-based fund Tybourne Capital Management and SF-based fund Valiant Capital Management and existing investors.
FreeCharge is building an advertising platform that will capture online and offline purchase behavior and brand preferences of consumers, by offering incentives and discount coupons to users to transact on its platform.
On 8 April, 2015 Indian e-commerce Snapdeal acquired Freecharge for Rs 2800 crore.