Affle Global purchased the additional stake through a secondary purchase of Samsung Ventures. With the sale, Affle and its affiliates now hold almost 60% of the voting rights of the investors attached to the issued preferred shares in Indus OS. Previously PhonePe and Affle were involved in a legal battle over the former purchasing stake in Indus OS, but later both parties settled out of court.
Affle Global Picks Up Over 13% Stake In Indus
According to reports, the company Martech Affle Global acquired an additional stake of more than 13% in the local content discovery platform Indus OS.
As part of the deal, Affle purchased an additional 13.09% in OSlabs, the parent company of Indus OS, through a secondary purchase by one of the investors, Samsung Ventures. With this, Affle and his affiliates now hold nearly 60% of the investor voting rights attached to the issued preferred shares in Indus OS, Business Standard reported.
The deal reportedly valued Indus OS at close to $90Mn for preferred shares.
AGPL Affle intends to remain a long-term investor and looks forward to further financial support for Indus OS to scale greater heights, strengthening the position of Indus OS to enable a first of its kind application engagement model, a company spokesman said.
The development comes a month after Affle founder and promoter Anuj Khanna Sohum joined the Indus OS board as a non-executive director.
Founded in 2015 by Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre and Sudhir B, Indus OS offers products that enable smartphone users to consume apps and content in local Indian languages. Its largest offering includes the Indus App Bazaar app market which houses more than 4 Lakh apps in major Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati among others.
Respite after months of legal wrangling
The start of content discovery was previously marred by internal conflicts and legal issues. The issue dates back to 2021 when digital payments platform PhonePe sought to take a 92% stake in Indus OS at a $60Mn valuation.
In the midst of the deal, the largest stakeholder in Indus OS, Affle, challenged the deal in a Singapore court citing a higher valuation of Indus OS. He said the vernacular content discovery platform was valued at around $90 million and refused to sell his stake.
Affle filed an injunction against the resolution passed by Indus OS approving the sale, which was later challenged by PhonePe in a Singapore court. After a saga of legal drama, the case reached an impasse in April this year after the Singapore High Court dismissed appeals filed by Affle against the share sale.
Shortly after, all the parties involved in the imbroglio reached an out of court settlement to resolve the dispute. The matter has since seen Sohum’s elevation and the latest deal valued Indus OS at $90Mn, the original bone of contention.
Indus OS competes with Paytm Mini App Store, Google Play Store, among others. According to Statista, the Indian app market is forecast to have revenue of $1.6 billion by 2022 and reach $2.36 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGE) of 9.22% by 2022 and 2026.