120 Indian startups plan to team up to take on Google
The new association will only be used to lobby the cause for app developers in the country. This move comes at a time when there is ample discontent building up amongst Indian startups against Google and their Play Store practices.
More than 120 Indian startups are planning to form an HT within a month to take on global tech heavyweights like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple, three startup founders have told Mint. This move comes at a time when there is ample discontent building up amongst Indian startups against Google and their Play Store practices.
According to the Mint report, this association will be a non-profit and will be independent of existing bodies like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Murugavel Janakiraman, founder of Matrimony.com told Mint.
The new association will only be used to lobby the cause for app developers in the country, reports suggest.
Interestingly though, IAMAI, which represents India’s digital and mobile ecosystem, has Google India as a member and has also held closed-door meetings on Saturday to hear out the concerns of Indian startups against Google’s growing monopoly.
IMAI has refused to comment on the matter as has Google India.
“We as a group of Indian startup developers will come together to make an independent congregation. They (Google) cannot be a single gatekeeper to the whole Indian internet ecosystem, especially when they claim to be a non-Indian entity. This is similar to the ‘Salt Movement," Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma told Mint.
The issues with Google and its Play Store policies resurged when the company reiterated Play Billing policy which makes it mandatory for Indian developers using the Play Store to pay 30% commission. This reiteration was met with outrage from homegrown startup founders which made Google soften its stance and provide an extension for the rule to come into effect on March 31, 2022.
However, the startup heads were still not happy with this and urged the Centre to regulate Google and other Big Tech firms while “doing away with commissions and arbitrary policies of the Play Store”.
“If they are charging 30% commission for just providing Play Store, they should at least offer customer care service to Indian apps," Sharma said.
Paytm has already announced the launch of a mini-app store to help small businesses get discovered. The company has also launched a ₹10 crore developer fund, which will work as an incubator to support Indian app-creators.