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PhonePe in talks to acquire Indian app store Indus OS

Walmart-backed Indian payments services firm PhonePe is in advanced stages of talks to acquire Samsung-backed Indus OS, a startup that operates an eponymous third-party Android app store, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The deal values Noida-headquartered Indus OS at $60 million, the source said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private. The deal has yet to close. PhonePe and Indus OS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Indian news outlet Entrackr first reported about the development.

Indus OS powers several popular third-party Android stores including Samsung’s Galaxy Store and provides partners with localized content and apps.

Late last year, Indus OS said it offered its partners 400,000 apps in English and 12 Indian languages. The seven-year-old startup, which has raised about $21 million to date and monetizes through ads, has amassed over 100 million users.

The startup plans to launch an app store for individual users once Google begins accepting third-party app stores, another source familiar with the matter said.

It remains unclear why PhonePe is interested in Indus OS’ offering. The Bangalore-based startup has long offered its own mini app store on its app. A handful of firms — including PhonePe rival Paytm — have either launched or explored launching their own mini app stores in recent months.




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