Truecaller is a smartphone application that has features of caller-identification, call-blocking, flash-messaging, call-recording (on Android up to version 8), Chat & Voice by using the Internet. It requires users to provide a standard cellular mobile number for registering with the service. The app is available for Android and iOS.
|Original author(s)||True Software Scandinavia|
|Developer(s)||True Software Scandinavia|
|Initial release||July 1, 2009|
TrueCaller is developed by True Software Scandinavia AB, a privately held company with a head office in Stockholm, Sweden, founded by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam in 2009, but most of its employees are in India.
It was initially launched on Symbian and Windows Mobile on 1 July 2009. It was released for Android and Apple iPhone on 23 September 2009, for BlackBerry on 27 February 2012, for Windows Phone on 1 March 2012, and for Nokia Series 40 on 3 September 2012.
As of September 2012, TrueCaller had five million users performing 120 million searches of the telephone number database every month. As of 22 January 2013, TrueCaller reached 10 million users. As of January 2017, TrueCaller had reached 250 million users worldwide. As of 4 February 2020, it crossed 200 million monthly user-base globally, of which 150 million were from India.
On 18 September 2012, TechCrunch announced that OpenOcean, a venture capital fund led by former MySQL and Nokia executives (including Michael Widenius, founder of MySQL), were investing US$1.3 million in TrueCaller to push TrueCaller’s global reach. TrueCaller said that it intended to use the new funding to expand its footprint in "key markets"—specifically North America, Asia and the Middle East.
In February 2014, TrueCaller received US$18.8 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, alongside existing investor OpenOcean, TrueCaller chairman Stefan Lennhammer, and an unnamed private investor. It also announced a partnership with Yelp to use Yelp's API data to help identify business numbers when they call a smartphone. In October of the same year, they received US$60 million from Niklas Zennström's Atomico investment firm and from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
On 7 July 2015, TrueCaller launched its SMS app called TrueMessenger exclusively in India. TrueMessenger enables users to identify the sender of SMS messages. This launch was aimed at increasing the company's user base in India which are the bulk of its active users. TrueMessenger was integrated into the TrueCaller app in April 2017.
In December 2019, TrueCaller announced it plans to go public in an IPO in 2022. TrueCaller has launched the Covid Hospital Directory keeping in mind the increasing cases of corona infection in India. Through this directory, Indian users will get information about the telephone number and address of Covid Hospital.
Security and privacy issues
On 17 July 2013, TrueCaller servers were allegedly hacked into by the Syrian Electronic Army. E Hacking News reported the group identified 7 sensitive databases it claimed to have exfiltrated, primarily due to an unmaintained WordPress installation on the servers. Claims made regarding the size of the databases were inconsistent. On 18 July 2013, TrueCaller issued a statement on its blog stating that their website was indeed hacked, but claiming that the attack did not disclose any passwords or credit card information.
TrueCaller uploads users' stored contacts to their servers to form a database of phone numbers.This breaches the privacy rights of the people whose private numbers are publicly matched to their names without their knowledge and without their permission.
In November 2019, India-based security researcher Ehraz Ahmed discovered a security flaw that exposed user data as well as system and location information. TrueCaller confirmed this information and the bug was immediately fixed.
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- Harald, Patrik (19 September 2012). "Open Ocean investerar i svenska Truecaller". Forum (business magazine) (in Swedish). ISSN 0533-070X.
- Meyer, David (22 January 2013). "Big in India, Swedish phone directory service Truecaller hits 20M user milestone". Gigaom. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- "Truecaller in 2017". Truecaller Blog. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- "Truecaller crosses 200 mn monthly user-base globally; ushers in 150 mn Indians". www.livemint.com. 4 February 2020. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
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- Lomas, Natasha (18 September 2012). "Open Ocean Invests $1.3M To Push Crowdsourced Directory Truecaller's Global Reach". TechCrunch. (TechCrunch was owned by AOL as of 2012). Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Investor in Community and Open Source Business". Open Ocean Capital. 19 September 2012. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- Videla, Emanuel (19 September 2012). "Miljonregn över svenska Truecaller" [Millions rain down on Swedish TrueCaller] (in Swedish). IT24/IDG. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Clayton, Nick (20 September 2012). "Truecaller Collects $1.3 Million for Crowd-Sourced Phone Book". Tech Europe - Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
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- Crook, Jordan (6 February 2014). "Truecaller Lands $18.8M Series B From Sequoia, Partners With Yelp To Verify Business Numbers". Tech Crunch. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- "Sweden's Truecaller clinches $60 million in venture capital funding". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Agarwal, Amit (7 July 2015). "Truecaller Launches SMS App In India, Aims 150 mn Users Base". Digital World. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "Take Back Control of Your SMS Inbox". Truecaller. 3 April 2017. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Truecaller Launches Covid Hospital Directory, To Get Phone Number Information of Covid Hospitals". Gadgets Techly360. 29 April 2021. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Selvan, Sabari (17 July 2013). "Truecaller Server hacking". eHacking News. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Truecaller Statement post hacking". Official blog. Truecaller. 18 July 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- "Cyanogen Taps Truecaller in Effort to Build a Better Mobile OS | Mobile | LinuxInsider". www.linuxinsider.com. 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
The Truecaller app uploads contacts without giving users a chance a chance to filter out sensitive numbers or names, noted Jimmy Shah, senior director of research at Zimperium.
- De, Pallab. "How Truecaller Finds Numbers | How to Remove Your Number from Truecaller". Pallab dot Net. Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
Truecaller is a collaborative phone directory that uploads the entire phone book of the user to its database.
- "Researcher Discovered A Critical Security Flaw In The Truecaller App". Mashable India. 26 November 2019. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- "Security Flaw In Android, iOS Phone App: 'Immediate Fix' For 150 Million Users". Forbes. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.