Truecaller Opens Paid API To Select Developers To Monetise Its Global Phone Directory

Posted: May 22, 2013 in GT
Tags: ,

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Truecaller, the Sweden-based creater of a crowdsourced phone directory app and online white
pages service, has opened its API to a select group
of “handpicked” developers. Truecaller said its
directory now contains some 960 million phone
numbers, either contributed by individuals or
harvested through partnerships with other directory services. The API covers only the numbers
Truecaller has in its own datacase, i.e. not partner
numbers, meaning it covers around 600 million digits. Truecaller’s numbers are global in scope, and include landline, mobile and pre-pay digits — the latter category
giving it an edge over other directory services, it argues. Being as phone numbers amount to highly sensitive
data in the wrong hands, Truecaller is being careful about who is getting access to its API — hence no open
API. Telemarketing companies are specifically barred from getting their wires in. Being the company that
helped spammers is clearly not the kind of publicity Truecaller is hoping for here. One scenario where it envisages its API being a benefit to others but also without causing irritation to phone
number owners is for call centres to identify who is calling before starting a call. Truecaller’s API allows for
reverse number lookup, meaning developers can attach a name to a known number. It also returns a ‘Spam
score’ to indicate if a number is a likely spammer (e.g. telesales or robocalls) and — at the other end of the
spectrum — a ‘True score’ to indicate how important the number is. This score is “the measurement of how
popular a phone number is with our users over time”. Name search is not included in the API but remains solely a feature of Truecaller’s mobile app. Truecaller is
charging developers to use some of the features of its API, so this is clearly part of its monetisation strategy.
Its free API includes only how popular a phone number is. Pricing for the more fully featured APIs starts at $299 per month, rising to $4,999. Truecaller said cloud e-signing company Scrive has been trying its API — as a way to validate the identity behind a phone number. Asked about the types of customers it is envisaging for the API, Truecaller CEO Alan Mamedi told
TechCrunch: “We’ve had more than a thousand applicants till now even as the API was unannounced.
However, we evaluate all of them internally and in all cases test their application before given access. For the
time being, the developers and companies that have been given access to our API are developing for B2B
services. “I believe the Truecaller API will benefit various companies such as major airlines like Delta Airlines to
improve their customer support and experience (greeting by name, decrease waiting times by connecting
incoming name to ticket information), but also identify well networked and loyalty members based on their
True score.” Last September Truecaller raised a $1.3 million Series A from Open Ocean, with the aim of expanding its footprint in its key markets of North America, Asia and the Middle East.

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  1. FORT MEADE, Md. (AFNS) It was less than 90 days after Sept. 11, 2001, and nerves were still raw. Capt. Allison Black had landed in Uzbekistan just hours earlier and was headed towards her first combat mission in Afghanistan. A C130H gunship navigator assigned to the 1st Special Operations Group, her assignment was to plot routes, communicate with ground forces and identify targets in the darkness below.Bearded special forces soldiers were traveling on horseback armed with intelligence gained from Afghan Northern Alliance soldiers and Black and her crew were there to use high caliber rounds to create a problem for the Taliban.The gunship had begun to take antiaircraft fire from the Taliban, even though they had initially destroyed a bank of rocket launchers and several enemy trucks. With help from the Northern Alliance, and their general, Abdul Rashid Dostum, they identified a nearby safehouse hiding more than 200 Taliban and al Qaida soldiers.As they approached their target, Black’s voice shattered the silence over the special forces soldiers’ field radios. The Northern Alliance general was in disbelief when he heard a woman’s voice over the radio: “A woman, sent to kill the Taliban.” Black said that he thought it was the funniest thing.But with more than 400 40mm cannon and 100 105mm howitzer rounds on target, and more than 200 of the enemy killed, Black quickly was dubbed the “angel of death” by her Afghan counterparts.Black said the Afghan general dialed into the Taliban frequency and told the enemy, “America is so determined, they bring their women to kill the Taliban. It is the ‘angel of death’ raining fire upon you.”For her actions, Black was one of six Airmen to receive the first Air Force Combat Action Medal in a ceremony in front of the Air Force Memorial in Washington. She was the first Air Force woman to receive a combat medal.Then Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, spoke of Black and her fellow recipients: “The medal ties the Airmen of today engaged with enemy hostiles to the legacy of courage, valor service and sacrifice that our predecessors left us. These Airmen, like all Airmen, stand on the shoulders of giants like Billy Mitchell, Arnold, Chennault, Doolittle, Lemay and Schriever.” He concluded by saying, “Today we recognize these six amazing Airmen for their combat roles as warriors wielding the air power bequeathed to us by these giants.”Following the ceremony, Black told the audience, “It’s a great honor anytime you’re recognized for your efforts, but I don’t look at it as heroic. I’m proud to represent all of the Airmen who will receive this award.”Since that day in 2001 that established Black’s legacy, she has become a master navigator with more than 1,500 flying hours and 540 combat hours during Operation Enduring Freedom.During a recent CNN interview with Black, concerning the president’s announcement to open all military career fields to women, she commented that, “I think it there’s going to be the standard and the standard needs to remain the same. You need to be physically, mentally and technically capable to do whatever job it is. And if you can meet those standards, bring it. You know, gender aside, we have to prepare our forces for the future fight. And it’s dynamic. It’s evolving, everchanging. So introducing women into those key roles will be might be that critical punch we need to deliver to the future enemy.”An example that the Afghan general back in 2001 predicted for women of his own country: “Look at what America allows their women to do.FORT MEADE, Md. (AFNS) It was less than 90 days after Sept. 11, 2001, and nerves were still raw. Capt. Allison Black had landed in Uzbekistan just hours earlier and was headed towards her first combat mission in Afghanistan. A C130H gunship navigator assigned to the 1st Special Operations Group, her assignment was to plot routes, communicate with ground forces and identify targets in the darkness below.Bearded special forces soldiers were traveling on horseback armed with intelligence gained from Afghan Northern Alliance soldiers and Black and her crew were there to use high caliber rounds to create a problem for the Taliban.The gunship had begun to take antiaircraft fire from the Taliban, even though they had initially destroyed a bank of rocket launchers and several enemy trucks. With help from the Northern Alliance, and their general, Abdul Rashid Dostum, they identified a nearby safehouse hiding more than 200 Taliban and al Qaida soldiers.As they approached their target, Black’s voice shattered the silence over the special forces soldiers’ field radios. The Northern Alliance general was in disbelief when he heard a woman’s voice over the radio: “A woman, sent to kill the Taliban.” Black said that he thought it was the funniest thing.But with more than 400 40mm cannon and 100 105mm howitzer rounds on target, and more than 200 of the enemy killed, Black quickly was dubbed the “angel of death” by her Afghan counterparts.Black said the Afghan general dialed into the Taliban frequency and told the enemy, “America is so determined, they bring their women to kill the Taliban. It is the ‘angel of death’ raining fire upon you.”For her actions, Black was one of six Airmen to receive the first Air Force Combat Action Medal in a ceremony in front of the Air Force Memorial in Washington. She was the first Air Force woman to receive a combat medal.Then Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, spoke of Black and her fellow recipients: “The medal ties the Airmen of today engaged with enemy hostiles to the legacy of courage, valor service and sacrifice that our predecessors left us. These Airmen, like all Airmen, stand on the shoulders of giants like Billy Mitchell, Arnold, Chennault, Doolittle, Lemay and Schriever.” He concluded by saying, “Today we recognize these six amazing Airmen for their combat roles as warriors wielding the air power bequeathed to us by these giants.”Following the ceremony, Black told the audience, “It’s a great honor anytime you’re recognized for your efforts, but I don’t look at it as heroic. I’m proud to represent all of the Airmen who will receive this award.”Since that day in 2001 that established Black’s legacy, she has become a master navigator with more than 1,500 flying hours and 540 combat hours during Operation Enduring Freedom.During a recent CNN interview with Black, concerning the president’s announcement to open all military career fields to women, she commented that, “I think it there’s going to be the standard and the standard needs to remain the same. You need to be physically, mentally and technically capable to do whatever job it is. And if you can meet those standards, bring it. You know, gender aside, we have to prepare our forces for the future fight. And it’s dynamic. It’s evolving, everchanging. So introducing women into those key roles will be might be that critical punch we need to deliver to the future enemy.”An example that the Afghan general back in 2001 predicted for women of his own country: “Look at what America allows their women to do. One day our country will have similar freedoms.”

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