PhonePe, an Indian digital payments and financial services company backed by Walmart, is getting ready to launch its own Android app store in India where the market is currently dominated by Google’s Play Store.
According to an internal document reported by TechCrunch, the upcoming app store will offer hyper-localized services that cater to customer context, and provide Android developers with ‘’high-quality’’ user acquisition via its multilingual solutions.
As per the document, it will offer support for a total of 12 languages, 24/7 live chat, and offer “premiere experience for millions of users with high-quality advertisements and custom targeting”. A source familiar with the issue said that the firm plans to strengthen its ties with smartphone vendors including Xiaomi.
India’s most valuable fintech startup confirmed that it’s set to launch its own app store in the country.
A spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch that Google dominates 97% of India’s app store market, so PhonePe, which already has more than 450 million registered users in the country, sees an opportunity to create an alternative which is “more localized not just from a language perspective but also from a discovery and consumer interest perspective.”
The spokesperson added that the timing is also in favor of them, citing India’s recent antitrust ruling that ordered Google to allow alternative app stores on its Play Store.
In addition, the company also confirmed that it’s in discussions with various phone manufacturers in the country, saying that “everyone is very receptive, especially since CCI has clarified that Google cannot engage in anti-competitive practices.”
“All the OEMs are excited about PhonePe building out a localised App store for the Indian market. We expect to be live on all Android OEMs within the first few months of launch. We have already closed terms with one of the largest OEMs and are trying to get the others rapidly onboard over the next couple of months.”
The news follows PhonePe’s acquisition of app and content discovery firm Indus in July last year. The duo reportedly began their acquisition talks in May 2021.