Freecharge was the mobile wallet which was reckoned to be the best bet for all investors during 2014-16. Started in August 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, Freecharge is headquartered at Gurgaon. After getting seeded by Sequoia Capital and Tandon Group in 2010, Freecharge was able to secure Series A funding from Sequoia Capital in 2011 for INR 200 million. By fag end of 2012, Freecharge was estimated to be facilitating online recharge of INR 6 million on a daily basis which would translate to INR 2 billion per year. It was also named as the most promising tech startup in 2011 and was destined for stupendous growth.
After 3 years of sustained growth, it was able to bag Series B funding of US $33 million from Sequoia Capital, Ru-Net and Sofina which at that time was the biggest funding raised by an Indian startup. In 2015, Freecharge further raised $80 Million from Hong Kong-based fund Tybourne Capital Management and SF-based fund Valiant Capital Management along with few other existing investors.In March 2015, Snapdeal acquired Freecharge for the US $400 million. And thus began the downfall of Freecharge. Freecharge in lieu of being associated with Snapdeal went into a free fall mostly due to the crisis at Snapdeal and the failed deal when Flipkart wanted to acquire Snapdeal. Their market valuation took a huge hit and Freecharge was assessed to be a bleeding startup. On 27th July 2017 Axis Bank finally bought out Freecharge for the US $60 million as compared to the US $400 million for which Snapdeal had bought it just 2 years ago. Freecharge, in its present structure, facilitates recharges and bill payments of basic utilities like mobile recharges and bill payments, DTH bill payments, internet and telephone bill payments, electricity bill payments, gas and water bill payments etc.. It also allows merchant payments for in-store bill payments but at a very basic level.