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PhonePe’s acquisition of Indus OS can now go ahead, post settlement of dispute

Indus OS investors Affle Global and Ventureast had last May disputed PhonePe’s $60 million acquisition deal

PhonePe's acquisition of Indus OS can go ahead as the payments company has reached an out-of-court settlement with the investors of Indus OS, the parties involved announced in a joint statement (copy below) on April 13. Indus OS investors Affle Global and Ventureast had last May disputed PhonePe's $60 million acquisition deal. The amount and the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. Founded in 2013, Indus OS built a version of Android tailored for the local language needs of Indian smartphone users. This OS shipped on devices made by Indian manufacturers like Micromax, Celkon, Karbonn, Swipe, and Intex. But more recently, Indus has focused its efforts on Indus App Bazaar, an Android app marketplace tailored for the subcontinent. The app store's zero percent commission model stands in contrast with the 30 percent that Google's Android and Apple's iOS charge developers, which Indian start-ups have been displeased with. Notably, Samsung’s default app store, the Galaxy Store, is powered by Indus App Bazaar in India. What was the legal dispute about? Affle reportedly disputed the deal because it was apprehensive about the valuation of IndusOS proposed by Walmart-backed PhonePe. Affle had valued the startup at $90 million when it bought a 20% stake in the company. Affle approached the High Court of Singapore asking it to issue an injunction on the deal arguing that it has the right of first refusal on stakes held by the company's founders. The investor also sought to buy Ventureast's stake in Indus to improve its leverage. PhonePe, in turn, filed complaints…

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