Digital payments company PhonePe is in talks to acquire Indus OS, a domestic smartphone operating system, which runs its own app marketplace, sources aware of the talks told CNBC TV 18.
The PhonePe - Indus OS deal is likely to be valued at $60 million, as per the sources. Entrackr was the first to report on the development on Wednesday. PhonePe and Indus CEO Rakesh Deshmukh did not respond to queries.
PhonePe's interest in Indus OS comes from the distribution play since Indus OS has over 100 million users and over 4 lakh apps on its own app marketplace called App Bazaar. Indus OS has partnered with 12 mobile brands in India and powers Samsung’s default app store - Galaxy Store.
Walmart-owned PhonePe is among the leaders in the digital payments space in the country and has ~290 million registered users currently. The company has been processing around a billion transactions monthly, with Walmart on Tuesday stating in its earnings call that the annualised total payment value run rate at PhonePe grew 150 percent YoY during the March quarter.
PhoenPe CEO Sameer Nigam has also been at the forefront to criticise Google's PlayStore billing policy that led to the demand among the Indian startup community to build a domestic app store in the country.
Indus OS' App Bazaar has over 4 lakh apps available in 12 Indian languages, and the platform has seen over a billion app installs since 2019. PhonePe itself runs its own 'super app' platform Switch to offer users access to popular consumer internet apps on its platform.