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PhonePe to acquire IndusOS for $60 million

PhonePe is acquiring IndusOS, bolstering its plans for a super app independent of the restrictions posed by Google's Play Store, which is making commissions mandatory and has received backlash from the technology community in India.

May 19, 2021 / 02:15 PM IST
PhonePe App (PC- Twitter/@PhonePe_)

PhonePe App (PC- Twitter/@PhonePe_)

Payments firm PhonePe is in the final stages to acquire mobile operating system startup IndusOS for $60 million, sources said, the latest sign of large startups rallying against Google to build and launch apps on their own platforms.

IndusOS will work with PhonePe’s Switch -- a service which enables multiple apps such as Ola, redBus, Goibibo, Myntra, Delhi Metro, Grofers on a single platform.

PhonePe declined to comment while IndusOS was not immediately reachable for comment. Entrackr first reported the development.

IndusOS, founded by Akash Dongre, Rakesh Deshmukh, and Sudhir Bangarambandi, has raised about $20 million so far from Samsung Ventures, Omidyar Network and Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal among others.

Indian entrepreneurs have increasingly been rallying against Google, which recently announced its plans to charge companies 15-30 percent for using its app store and processing payments on other apps.

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Founders are questioning why they need to pay this when they are already spending a large chunk of advertising dollars on Google.

Currently, Indian firms do not have to pay for the in-app purchases of digital goods their users make on the platform. This is because the integration with Google Play Store billing is not mandatory.

But companies will have to comply with this by March 2022 if they want to continue to sell through the play store. Google Play Store, which comes pre-loaded in the Android phones, enjoys a significant market share in India.

An independent operating system which does not charge mandatory fees is important for Walmart-owned PhonePe, which wants to build a super app, a portfolio of daily services within a single app.
M. Sriram
first published: May 19, 2021 02:15 pm

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