PhonePe launches Indus AppStore Developer Platform
PhonePe has launched the Indus AppStore Developer Platform, offering zero platform fees and no commission on in-app purchases. The fintech startup aims to attract Android developers in Google’s largest market, India. With over 450 million registered users on its payments app, PhonePe encourages developers to register and upload apps on their ‘made-in-India’ app store. The app store features locally relevant features including support for third-party payment providers, 12 Indian languages, and a phone number-based login system.
No listing fee for the first year
PhonePe will not charge developers any listing fee for the first year of registration. After that, there will be a “nominal” cost for listing on the app store. In addition, PhonePe will not levy a commission on in-app purchases, as opposed to Google’s 15-30% commission rate. A dedicated India-based team will provide developer support, addressing concerns about delayed responses and operating hours due to the US time zone.
A strategic move by PhonePe
PhonePe has been working on the app store for years and sees it as a crucial strategic move. Having raised $850 million recently and acquired IndusOS, PhonePe considers the launch of the Indus Appstore Developer Platform as an important milestone. This move comes at a time when many Indian businesses and startups have grown frustrated with Google Play Store’s exorbitant fees.
New alternative to Google Play Store
The Indus Appstore aims to provide app developers with a credible alternative to Google Play Store. By being more localized and offering better app discovery and consumer engagement, the Indus Appstore hopes to address the concerns of Indian app developers who have been limited to only one app store for distribution. This effort is not the first attempt by local entrepreneurs to challenge Google Play Store’s dominance.
Optimism for success
PhonePe remains optimistic about its push to make Google accept third-party app stores and features that cater to local needs. The fintech startup believes that recent regulatory changes and the intervention of Indian watchdogs will increase the chances of success. Despite being a key market for Google with over 700 million internet users, the company has faced criticism and antitrust fines in India.
Diversification of PhonePe
The app store is part of PhonePe’s expansion into various new categories. Recently, PhonePe launched an e-commerce app and introduced Share.Market, an app for trading stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. Valued at $12 billion, PhonePe continues to explore opportunities beyond its core payments business.