Paytm set up ₹10 Crore fund for Mini App Store
By: Ashwathy Nair
In order to draw local app developers to its newly launched Mini App Store, Paytm has set up a ₹10 crore investment fund as the fintech company aims to gain support in its “fight” against Google from the domestic tech ecosystem.
CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma urged developers to enter Paytm’s Mini App Store during a virtual gathering that was prepared by the Noida-based company on Thursday, offering zero developer fees or commissions. More than 5,000 developers from across the nation joined the virtual conference.
On the Mini App Store platform, an ambitious goal has been set by Sharma that there will be “at least one million mini-apps” in order to avoid what he called “the victimization of 30 per cent fees that Google is putting on us”.
In order to be assured, unlike the Play Store, Paytm’s Mini App Store does not let its users install apps on their Smartphones. Instead, on top of Paytm’s in-app flow, it permits developers to create a simplified interface.
By describing the investment as an incubation fund, Sharma said that it would be used for the development of new solutions and will help the local app developers those who join the Mini App Store.
The fund arises at a time when there were few concerns, which were raised by the Indian startup community over Google’s alleged misuse of its dominant market position. In line with the global billing policy, Indian businesses those are selling digital goods through Play Store app would be charged a 30 per cent of commission, last month the US-based company said.
Since Paytm’s expulsion from Play Store, Sharma has been critical of Google and has again expressed concern over “monopoly risks” in power exercised by Google.
Sharma was joined by entrepreneurs and tech investors like GOQii’s Vishal Gondal, General Partner of India Quotient’s Anand Lunia, and GSF Accelerator’s founder Rajesh Sawhney, who also disapproved with Google and other tech firms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Gondal, along with the co-founder of nCore Games which is all set to launch a new mobile action game FAU-G, in a conference said that the move by Google is a “wake-up call” and called for a view from Indian regulators.
The founding member of early-stage investment firm India Quotient, Anant Lunia said that there is a requirement of a new regulator in India who would regulate the internet space. These founders, besides Sharma, are also a part of an industry community of start-up entrepreneurs that met with Secretary Ajay Sawhney of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Saturday to highlight some of their concerns.
However, Sharma did not share pieces of information about the steps they would take with Google to address the issue. “We are not in a position to make the information public. We will formalize the grouping and take all necessary measures at our disposal,” he added. CEO of Paytm advised developers, pledging zero developer charge or commissions, to enter the Mini App Store.