Targeting Google's dominance in the app distribution space in India, leading digital payments platform Paytm on Thursday said it is setting up a Rs 10 crore fund as equity investments for mini app developers in the country.
The move, announced at a mini apps developer conference, comes after Paytm launched an Android Mini App Store earlier this week to support local developers
Paytm claimed that over 5,000 developers from across the country expressed their interest in being a part of the Paytm Mini App programme.
"We are committed to developing a technology ecosystem that champions the innovations of Indian developers. We are not just backend developers, India developers can build the best apps in the world," Paytm Founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said at the conference.
"Today, we are announcing a Rs 10 crore investment fund for Mini App developers in the country."
For payments, developers will have the ability to give users a choice between Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net-banking and cards, Paytm said.
"Developers spend a lot of money and resources to build their apps and then marketing them. Therefore, we have decided to not charge anything for listing their app on the Paytm Mini App Store," the company said.
"We firmly believe that if app developers are charged a fee of 30 per cent or more, the overall cost of their product and service will increase," it added.
Saying that data will remain with developers, Paytm said it will not have access to it at any given time.
Several Indian entrepreneurs came out in support of Paytm's initiative on Thursday.
"Google's tax is like a distributor asking for 30 percent of the sales revenue as a cut. Today, we are all at the mercy of Google. We don't know when they will remove the apps, based on some policy that they decide," Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder & CEO, Matrimony.com, said in a statement.
"What Paytm has started is a freedom movement. The Internet in our country is controlled by Google and we all are at its mercy."
Mini apps are a custom-built mobile website that gives users app-like experience without having to download them.
Paytm earlier this week said more than 300 app-based service providers such as Decathalon, Ola, Park+, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino's Pizza, FreshMenu, NoBroker have already joined the Mini App programme.
Google faced criticism from developers after it announced its policy asking them to integrate with the Play Store billing system.
However, Google on Monday said it has extended the time for developers in India who use alternative payment system, to integrate with the Play Store billing system till March 31, 2022.