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When we first met the company, they were a small team of engineers in Stockholm but they had users all over the world. We felt we could help them get closer to these global markets.

Alan and Shailesh tell the story

Alan Mamedi
Truecaller

From the beginning, it was important for us to think global. After all, Sweden is such a small market. Nine million people – that’s smaller than New Delhi. So we were recruiting people with experience abroad and trying to build a team with a global mindset.

Shailesh Lakhani
Sequoia

Alan and Nami were exceptional product people. But they felt they could do a lot by remote control – from where they were. There was a lot they couldn’t know about their users from being so far away.

Alan Mamedi

We felt, at the time, that you can make things happen from your home market. There is a lot you can learn by looking at and understanding the data coming in from different parts of the world.

Shailesh Lakhani

We thought it was important for them to see what it might be like to have teams on the ground in their local markets. But we don’t tell founders what to do. We’d rather try and show them why something makes sense. After that, it’s up to them.

Alan Mamedi

Having people in different parts of the world and managing them – that is a challenge in itself. I don’t think it was necessary in the early days but we knew it would be eventually, in order to deliver a better user experience. We’ve always believed that when the market is ready, it will come to you.

Shailesh Lakhani

So, we brought them to India and organized a set of meetings for them, to let them see what could be different. They came away with an appreciation of what they could accomplish in this and each of their markets with people on the ground and a closer connect to users, partners and customers.

Alan Mamedi

We started by talking to different operators who had been reaching out to us for a while. We went to the first carrier – I think it was Airtel - and they said we have 130 million customers. Reliance had 150 million customers. And that’s when it actually hit us – the sheer potential of this market. The biggest carrier in Sweden has 1.5 million customers!

Shailesh Lakhani

They decided how to build the team and what kind of people they were looking for. We gave them resumes, interviewed and helped with the hiring. It was always their decision. We only served as their sounding board, and all the decisions were theirs.

Alan Mamedi

It’s very helpful to have someone like Shailesh on board. We can shoot him a WhatsApp message to help us recruit or give us insights into how other apps might be doing in other markets.

Shailesh Lakhani

Mike Moritz put this well: we are invited guests in our companies. In this case, we just tried to give ideas, exposed them to the opportunities and left the rest up to Alan and his team.

Alan Mamedi

One of the biggest challenges of getting heavy investors on the board is the pressure that comes with it. Sequoia has been very supportive in both good and tough times and have stayed away from hard direction. That’s very rare.

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Truecaller
Truecaller is transforming today's phonebook to make it more intelligent and useful.
Milestones
  • Founded 2009
  • Partnered 2013
Founders
  • Alan Mamedi
  • Nami Zarringhalam
Investment Advisors