Illustration: Rahul Awasthi
Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced a Rs 10 crore investment fund for app developers at a virtual conference on Thursday.

“You are the champions of new technology, I call upon all of you to champion the mini-apps,” Sharma said while giving shoutouts to developers who joined the conference from across India. Sharing his ambitious goal, the Paytm founder said that he hopes to reach “at least one million mini-apps” to stop “the victimization of 30% charges Google is putting on all of us.”

Sharma was referring to Google’s Play Store policies that will require app developers selling digital goods to use its in-app payment system, giving the tech giant a 30% commission for each transaction.

Led by Sharma, a group of founders in India came together, calling for the disbanding of the Google-Apple duopoly on the Indian app store. After the furor, Google postponed the enforcement of this policy to April 2022.

Sharma said if India wants to own its position as the next global superpower, then it has to begin from being a leader in its digital ecosystem.

Vishal Gondal of GOQii, Anand Lunia, General Partner-India Quotient, and GSF Accelerator Founder, Rajesh Sawhney, were also present at the webinar.

Gondal applauded Sharma’s intiative and said that this “a launch of a movement”

“Every time someone uses to mini app store .. (they are saying) I choose to remain free and have my own choice,” Gondal said.

The founders present at the event did not mince their words. Bharat Matrimony founder, Murugavel Janakiraman repeatedly said, “Free internet from the glitches of Google.”

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