Digital payments and financial services player PhonePe have completed the long pending acquisition of mobile platform OSLabs after reaching a cordial settlement with the company’s majority shareholder Affle Global.
As part of the deal, PhonePe acquired Affle Global’s entire stake at a premium. IndusOS’ 100 employees, including the founders as well, will be part of PhonePe. With the closure of this deal, PhonePe can build a horizontal, local app store.
The closure of the deal comes after a long legal dispute between PhonePe and IndusOS shareholders Affle and Ventureast Fund on the valuation of IndusOS. Walmart-owned PhonePe was close to acquiring IndusOS in May 2021, at a valuation of $60 million.
Affle is the largest shareholder in IndusOS, took objection to the deal and filed an injunction at Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) against PhonePe, saying it has the Right of First Refusal (RoRF). As per Affle, the true valuation of IndusOS stood at $90 million and it was unwilling to sell its majority stake at a lower valuation. PhonePe too filed a case against Affle and Ventureast at the SIAC.
Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO of PhonePe, said, “We are very excited to embark on this journey with OSLabs, and build just the kind of the localised App store that India needs.” Meanwhile, Mei Theng Leong, Director of Affle Global, said, “We wish PhonePe team the very best for its stated vision of building a homegrown horizontal, local Appstore.”
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