Indian fintech giant, PhonePe is reportedly building a localised App store for the Indian market in the latest product push by the company to challenge Google’s dominance.
The move is coming after the Indian antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) last year October, ordered Google to make a series of changes, such as allowing third-party developers to build and launch their app stores on Google Play.
According to an internal company document, the app store will be designed to offer hyper-localized services based on customer context and aims to assist developers with “high-quality” user acquisition through multilingual solutions. The app store will offer a “premiere experience for millions of users with high-quality advertisements and custom targeting,” with support for 12 languages and 24×7 live chat, the document said.
In a strategic move towards the development of its own app store, the company recently acquired IndusOS, a startup that creates third-party Android app stores. It also confirmed that it is holding multiple conversations with phone makers, such as Xiaomi to boost its app store engagement with smartphone companies.
PhonePe's aggressive push underscores its plans to expand in the e-commerce landscape after its venture into the space with its Pincode app which enables users to discover nearby merchants and make purchases.
Currently dominating the mobile payments market in India with over 450 million registered users, PhonePe is in a strong position to challenge Google's dominance in the Indian app store market where it currently controls 97% market share of the country’s 600 million smartphones, according to research firm Counterpoint.
The Walmart-owned payments services firm is currently in the middle of an ongoing $1 billion funding round this year. So far, it has raised $750 million from General Atlantic, Walmart and Tiger Global among others.