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PhonePe enters stock broking, launches separate app Share.Market

The app will be led by Ujjwal Jain and Sujit Modi—co-founders of PhonePe- acquired wealth management platforms, WealthDesk and OpenQ.

PhonePe enters stock broking, launches separate app Share.Market

Wednesday August 30, 2023 , 4 min Read

Walmart-backed fintech firm PhonePe is foraying into stock broking with the launch of a separate app—Share.Market. 

The app will come under PhonePe’s subsidiary, PhonePe Wealth Broking Pvt. Ltd, and be led by Ujjwal Jain and Sujit Modi—co-founders of wealth management platforms WealthDesk and OpenQ.

PhonePe acquired the two platforms in May 2022 for $75 million to strengthen its wealth management play and simultaneously work towards building a separate product.

The new app, scrapping AMC plans  

Like a usual discount broking app, Share.Market would allow retail investors to trade and invest in stocks (intraday and delivery), mutual funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), along with curated ‘WealthBaskets’. 

Online discount broking is already a competitive space with large players like Zerodha, Groww, Paytm Money, and Upstox amassing a strong customer base, besides traditional brokerage houses launching digital platforms.

PhonePe is looking to leverage competitive broking prices, its strong reach, and distribution capabilities to gain traction.

The new app places its uniqueness on market intelligence and quantitative research-based “WealthBaskets” that it will offer on top of broking. 

The company defines WealthBaskets as “curated collections of stocks/investment products by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-registered intermediaries that align with specific themes, sectors, or market trends enabling active equity portfolio building with great convenience, and at low costs”.

“[The number] of traders has increased 6X in the last year. The intent to enter the capital market is there but a lot of potential investors get discouraged due to losses and risk. We will work on providing that intelligence and quantitative research to get people into the market,” said Sameer Nigam, Co-founder and CEO at PhonePe.  

The platform will also host a dedicated section to track the stock market, indices, stocks, and sectors with a watchlist tracker, along with other DIY tools. 

“Our goal is to offer the benefits of discount broking while creating lasting value for our customers as they invest and trade. We will continue to invest in advanced technology, data, research, and immersive experiences to offer these benefits at scale and drive this new era of value-led discount broking coupling intelligence with broking,” said Ujjwal Jain, CEO, Share.Market. 

The brokerage's charges have been kept at Rs 20/executed order (both delivery and intraday) besides a one-time onboarding charge of Rs 199. There is zero brokerage up to Rs 400 on trades and nil on WealthBasket transactions. 

PhonePe marked its foray into wealth management and financial services in 2018 with the launch of its own wealth management unit, PhonePe Wealth Services. 

Since then, the app has introduced a series of offerings, including third-party mutual funds, insurance, tax-saving funds, liquid funds, and digital gold. 

In December 2021, the financial service company applied for a mutual funds licence with the SEBI. However, the application has been pulled back. 

“We pulled back our applications because we realised our calling is on the distribution of services and platform side. We are not natural manufacturers of products, including an AMC (Assets Management Company). So, we are not an AMC applicant anymore," Nigam explains.

New launches, growth plans

Since its separation from Flipkart and domicile shift to India last year as a run-up to IPO, PhonePe has been strategising to strengthen its multi-business play across payments, lending, wealth management, and ecommerce. 

To be noted, it had announced a $1 billion-fundraise to back its growth plans, of which $850 million has been completed through General Atlantic, Walmart, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and TVS Capital Funds.

The rounds valued the startup at $12 billion.

Besides doling out a separate ecommerce app on ONDC, Pincode, PhonePe recently announced venturing into merchant loans (via marketplace model) and personal loans in partnership with Axis Bank.

It also launched its payment gateway as it looks to tap into larger offline and online merchants, including small and medium businesses.

PhonePe, which holds 50% market share by value in UPI payments, hit an annualised total payment value run rate of $1 trillion in March 2023. The company claims to have over 450 million registered users and digitised 36 million offline merchants. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti