Truecaller reaches 100M users, will become smart

Truecaller introduces new features geared toward becoming the go-to mobile phonebook

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 3, 2014
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Have you you ever watched an old movie, and you are shocked someone picks up the phone not knowing who is on the other end? It's so weird! I mean, it's not like it was that long ago that we were all doing that but it already seems so antiquated. Pretty soon the idea of not knowing who is calling will truly, once and for all, be gone for good.

That is mostly due to the efforts of verified mobile phone community app Truecaller, a company which has been seeing huge growth, traction and funding this year. 

Truecaller revealed in a blog post that is has now reached a new milestone by breaking the 100 million user mark. That is up from 85 million users just a couple of months ago, a nearly 18% increase in that time frame.

This news comes on the heels of the company's $60 million funding round in October. In fact, the company has raised $80.5 million in total, nearly $80 million of which came in 2014, as it also  raised $18.8 million in Series B funding in February.

So what does a company do when it is growing this fast and gaining this much interest from users and venture capitalists? It branches out. In the case of Truecaller, that means getting smarter.

Along with the funding, the company also announced a slew of new features, including improved search, allowing users to browse through its directory of over 1.5 billion contacts and the contacts on the user's phone; the ability to place calls or write texts from inside the app; and more social integration with the addition of social media profiles and photos. Users can choose how they want to be displayed in their friend's Truecaller phonebook.

The most interesting new feature, though, is one that really points to a new and exciting future for the company: it is introducing Suggested Contacts, in which the app will be able to predict who a person may want to call, and make "relevant suggestions" based on factors such as their call history, the time, their location and who they most interact with. 

All of these features combined, the improved search, call suggestions and ability to make in-app calls, are all seem geared toward one goal: getting people to stay in the app longer. It suggest that the company's real intention, beyond simply being a directory, is to eventually make Truecaller the go-to contacts app. 

"We’ve listened to how our users are using the service, and we wanted to redesign the app to provide easier discovery and simpler navigation, not to mention lighter memory consumption! The new Truecaller will completely transform your mobile phonebook experience with a smarter set of features that will improve your daily life," the company wrote. "This has been a natural evolution in how people have been using the Truecaller app, and now, you have all the current information on people and businesses you need without ever having to leave the app."

Founded in 2009, Truecaller is a Stockholm-based service that allows its user to block spam calls to their mobile phones and help identify unknown phone numbers. It is a crowd-sourced phone book, which means that users will always know who is calling them, whether it is a person or business, and other community members filter out spammers and telemarketers.

User can searching for any number or name that is on Truecaller. They can find businesses, financial institutions, or friends in the community. Truecaller users will then be notified when someone requests their number, and have the option to approve, or deny, any request that comes through.

When someone tries to get in touch, Truecaller tells the receiver who is trying to get in touch with them, even if the number is landline, mobile or pre-paid. The user's contact list can be updated with friends' profile pictures and status updates by choosing to source information from popular sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Truecaller also gives its users access to a list of top spammers, allowing them to quickly block calls from those numbers.

The company released a video with a run-down of the new features:

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