I have a rule: Never pick up calls from unknown numbers without scheduling a conversation first. Why? Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s someone I don’t want to talk to, inconveniently interrupting my day.
I don’t particularly want to change that rule, but Truecaller, a company that announced today it has raised $60 million in a third round of funding, could help me know for sure that the incoming call is indeed someone I don’t want to chat with.
Truecaller’s mobile apps help you look up phone numbers, save you from answering spam calls, and manage your own phonebook contacts. For its spam filtering, the app alerts you when a number has been reported as spam; for caller ID, it uses a mix of web crawling and the numbers it collects through its community. Truecaller has amassed 85 million users since launching in 2009.
Of course, Truecaller’s service isn’t perfect. I’ve already been unable to identify a few numbers I queried, and I’m a bit uncomfortable with the fact that it turned up my cell phone number, which is registered to my father. But all in all, we can appreciate the favor it’s trying to do us. Co-founder Alan Mamedi told VentureBeat that users can always opt-out of Truecaller’s database if they don’t want their information made public.
The company plans on using its new funds to expand its engineering and business teams, especially to fill out its recently opened office in San Francisco (it’s headquartered in Sweden) and to continue working on its product. While Mamedi denied already having a monetization strategy — though I really doubt VCs handed Truecaller $60 million without hearing one — he did say that the company is working to eventually provide intelligence and predictions around our phone contacts.
“In the end, people don’t want to enter something [in their phone]. They just want things to work and things to be done for you” like Siri, for example, Mamedi said. Someday, Truecaller will tell you who you should call next apparently.
Truecaller raised the new funds from Atomico, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Sequoia Capital, Insight Venture Partners’ Jerry Murdock, and Stefan Lennhammer also chipping in. Atomico’s Mattias Ljungman, KPCB’s John Doerr, and Jerry Murdock will be joining Truecaller’s board of directors as part of the deal.
Truecaller was founded in 2009 by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company previously raised $20.1 million in funding.