PhonePe opens its 'Made in India' app store to developers

The Walmart-backed decacorn is looking to provide an alternative to developers besides Google and Apple stores by leveraging 'made in India' vernacular and localised strategy.

PhonePe opens its 'Made in India' app store to developers

Saturday September 23, 2023,

3 min Read

Challenging the duopoly of global tech giants, Google and Apple, in the mobile app marketplace, Walmart-backed PhonePe has thrown open its soon-to-be-launched app store—Indus—to developers to offer localised services for Indian users. 

The fintech decacorn has invited Android app developers to register and upload their apps on the platform. These apps will be listed on the soon-to-be-launched “Made-in-India" app store, which will be attuned to the Indian audience. 

The company has kept the listing fee free for the first year, post which a nominal annual fee will apply. Comparatively, Google and Apple charge a fee in the range of 15-25% from developers for in-app purchases besides other levies for app sales. 

“The Indus Appstore will not charge developers any platform fee or commission for in-app payments. Developers will be free to integrate any payment gateway of their choice inside their own apps,” the company said in a statement released on Saturday.  

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Further, a dedicated section called “Launch Pad” will be available to the developers for visibility as well as search optimisation along with an option to list the app in 12 Indian languages. 

“India is poised to have over one billion smartphone users by 2026 offering us a massive opportunity to build a new-age, localised Android app store. Despite being such a large consumer market, app developers have always been forced to work with only one app store—Google Play Store—for distributing their apps. We hope to provide app developers with a credible alternative to the Google Play Store—one that is more localized and offers better app discovery and consumer engagement,” said Akash Dongre, CPO and Co-Founder, Indus Appstore. 

PhonePe, a leader in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), completed the long pending acquisition of mobile platform OSLabs last year after reaching an amicable settlement with the company's majority shareholder Affle Global Pte Ltd. The closure of the deal had come after a long-winded legal wrangle between PhonePe and IndusOS shareholders Affle and Ventureast Fund on the valuation of IndusOS.

The deal gave wings to PhonePe's ambition of building a homegrown horizontal local app store, on the back of IndusOS's 100 million users and 400,000 apps across all categories in 13 languages.

Founded by IITians Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre, and Sudhir B in 2015, IndusOS is a leading app-content-discovery platform that helps smartphone users consume apps and content in the language of their choice. The company operates a full-fledged Android app store, known as Indus App Bazaar. It is backed by the venture capital arm of smartphone maker Samsung.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti