PhonePe Launches Indus AppStore in India

PhonePe, the leading digital payments app in India backed by Walmart, has launched a new app store called Indus AppStore Developer Platform. This promises to be a major challenger to the Google Play Store by offering developers attractive benefits like zero platform fees, no in-app purchase commissions, and localized support.

The Indus AppStore aims to tap into the frustrations of Indian developers who have been unhappy with some Google Play Store policies and practices. With over 450 million registered users, PhonePe has the scale and brand recognition to disruption app distribution in India.

Key details on the PhonePe Indus AppStore:

  • Made-in-India – The app store is designed for Indian consumers with support for 12 local languages, phone number-based login, and integration with local payment methods like UPI.
  • Developer Support – An India-based team will provide localized customer support to developers, addressing complaints over Google’s US-centric support.
  • Expanding Ecosystem – The Indus AppStore adds to PhonePe’s expansive ecosystem spanning payments, wealth management, insurance, ecommerce and more.

The Indus AppStore launches at a time when technology companies like Google face growing scrutiny in India. Google’s Android OS powers over 95% of India’s 600 million+ smartphones. But many Indian startups have grown frustrated by Google’s policies and alleged abuse of market dominance.

Indian developers have long complained about excessive app review times by Google, reaching 2 weeks in some cases. This hampers their ability to launch and test new products.

They also chafe at Google’s 30% commission on in-app purchases, which significantly eats into revenues. The costs are prohibitive, especially for smaller startups.

PhonePe’s Indus AppStore provides an attractive alternative by letting developers keep 100% of in-app revenues. Lower costs could promote greater innovation.

For consumers, the Indus AppStore promises localized experiences tailored to Indian consumers. This includes multiple language support, apps suited to Indian tastes, and integration with hugely popular payments platforms like UPI.

The Indus AppStore is PhonePe’s latest salvo as it aggressively expands into new categories beyond digital payments. It recently launched PhonePe Pulse, a news and interactive content platform.

It has also unveiled PhonePe Wealth offering investments in gold and silver. On the cards are insurance and lending offerings as well as an ecommerce marketplace to take on Amazon and Flipkart.

The app store leverages PhonePe’s vast registered user base and trusted brand to attract developers. But it faces stiff competition from Google’s dominance and scale.

Overall, the IndusAppStore Developer Platform reflects India’s push towards technology self-reliance and homegrown alternatives to U.S. Big Tech. With attractive policies, PhonePe is well positioned to disruption app distribution while creating new monetization avenues.