PhonePe, the Walmart backed payment and UPI transaction platform is looking to acquire Indus OS, the Android fork service that is backed by South Korean tech giant Samsung Inc., according to a report by TechCrunch.
The acquisition has already reached its advanced stages, as per the report. Indus OS has been backed by Samsung Inc. since 2019, when the company invested a whopping $5.75 million in the start-up, through its investment arm Samsung Ventures. The start-up has created and operates a third party App Store for Android, through which it has been serving more than 400,000 apps, ranging in 13 different languages, including English and 12 Indian vernacular languages, to its user base of over 100 million customers, according to data released last year.
Major companies making use of Indus OS’s technology include Samsung itself, which has incorporated its features in the Samsung Galaxy app store. Indian originals like Micromax, Intex, Gioness, and Karbonn, are also customers of its App Store services.
While the details of the deal have not yet been revealed, if successful, it will place the seven year old company at an estimated valuation of around $60 million. The company has managed to raise $21 million through several rounds of financing, in its 7-year long life.
Back in 2019, Rakesh Deshmukh, the CEO of Indus OS, had said that his start-up will be using the fresh funds obtained from Samsung in creating development kits for software developers, so that they can modify their apps, and make them more suitable for Indian users. The company also makes money by monetizing ads. As of now, Indus OS aims to launch an app store for independent users as well, and is just waiting for Google to make third-party app stores available.
As for the acquisition, it is not easily apparent why PhonePe is keen to take over the start-up, especially since it does not particularly seem to be in need of an alternate app store. The platform already makes in-app purchases and apps available through the mini-app store in its main app- Switch. The same tactic has been adopted by many other contemporaries, including rival company Paytm. The Switch platform was launched by PhonePe back in 2018, and has since been used to compile a number of useful apps, all in one place, for easy access to them by users. As of today, the app has grown to accommodate more than 300 apps, including the likes of Myntra, Swiggy, IRCTC, Ola, and Goibibo.
Department of Information Technologies: https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-information-technologies/