More than 150 startups and firms in India are working to form an alliance and toying with the idea of launching an app store to cut their reliance on Google, five people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Google, which reaches more internet users than any other firm in India and commands 99% of the nation’s smartphone market, has stumbled upon an odd challenge in the world’s second-largest internet market: scores of top local entrepreneurs.
The list of entrepreneurs includes high-profile names, such as Vijay Shekhar Sharma, co-founder and chief executive of Paytm (India’s most valuable startup); Deep Kalra of travel ticketing firm MakeMyTrip; and executives from PolicyBazaar, RazorPay, and ShareChat.
The growing list of founders expressed deep concerns about Google’s “monopolistic” hold on India, home to one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, and discussed what they alleged was unfair and inconsistent enforcement of Play Store’s guidelines in the country.
Their effort comes days after a small group of firms, including Epic Games, Spotify, Basecamp, Match Group, and ProtonMail, forged their own coalition to pressure Apple and Google to make changes to their marketplace rules.
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