PhonePe to acquire Indus OS in all-cash deal worth $60 m

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 20, 2021

The digital payment service PhonePe   -  Bloomberg

This is the digital payment platform’s second acquisition after Zopper Retail

Walmart-owned digital payments platform Phone Pe is in the final stages of talks to acquire Indus OS, a made-in-India content and app discovery platform, in an all-cash deal worth $60 million. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks and is PhonePe’s second acquisition after Zopper Retail which it acqui-hired in 2018.

The acquisition is expected to fuel PhonePe’s super app ambitions. Currently, PhonePe ‘Switch’ that aggregates over 400 apps across verticals including food, grocery, shopping, travel apps within its own app, does away with the need to download apps individually. Users can log into these apps without downloading them with a single tap.

With Indus OS’ Indus App Bazaar providingwhich provides access to over four4 lakh apps for 100 million-plus users in English and 12 Indian languages, PhonePe’s super app ambitions will receive the much-required shot in the arm, said sources.

Founded by IIT alumni Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre and Sudhir Bangarambandi, Indus OS started its journey over 7 years ago with the launch of a ‘Made in India’ operating system and later launched an appstore — the Indus App Bazaar. It is an alternative Android-based app store focused on localisation, simplicity, personalisation and performance optimisation to enhance user experience. It comes with an AI-driven app recommendation engine which optimises user experience, giving them an option to search, browse and download apps based on their interests. It is pre-bundled with all Samsung Galaxy phones in India and powers several third-party Android stores including Samsung’s Galaxy store and powers over 60 million devices. Users do not need an email address to download apps from Indus App Bazaar. Users are recommended apps based on their location and the languages they speak.

After the acquisition, Indus OS with its 100-strong team is expected to take over Switch and build an app ecosystem for PhonePe Indus OS has raised $25.2 million since its inception and is backed by investors including Samsung Venture, Omidyar Network, JSW Ventures, Ventureast and Affle.

Published on May 19, 2021

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