Bengaluru-based digital payments major PhonePe is in talks to acquire homegrown mobile platform Indus OS, said sources aware of the transaction details. Owned by Walmart, PhonePe is planning to acquire the content and app discovery platform Indus OS in a deal valued at around $60 million, sources aware of the matter said.
This would be the second acquisition by the Bengaluru-based company since its inception. In July 2018, it acquired Zopper Retail. The idea behind the acquisition is to boost PhonePe’s ‘super app’–a platform that offers a wide range of services–Switch.
It’s a kind of super app that enables PhonePe users to book cabs, hotels and order groceries and food items along with many other use cases.
“PhonePe and Indus OS signed the terms of the deal two weeks ago,” said one of the sources aware of the development. “The transaction is a cash deal worth $60 million,” the source added. Post-acquisition, team Indus OS will be spearheading Switch and building an app ecosystem for PhonePe.
Indus App Bazaar investors to exit with cash
Indus OS claims to have 100 million users on its super app called Indus App Bazaar. The app has over 1.1 billion downloads, and 400K apps across categories are listed on the platform. The sources said that PhonePe would enable in-app purchases for Indus App Bazaar. Following the deal, Indus OS’s investors would exit the company with cash, and the team and founders would join PhonePe.
Indus OS has raised around $20 million from Samsung Venture, Omidyar Network, JSW Ventures, VentureEast, and Affle. Samsung and Affle control a 20% and 8% stake in Indus OS, which reported a revenue of Rs 17 crore for the year ended March 2020.
Indus OS eases app discovery in English and 12 vernacular languages across categories such as games, finance, entertainment, and social media. In an interview, the company’s co-founder and chief executive Rakesh Deshmukh said its usages increased by over 2X during the first wave of the pandemic.