PhonePe, India’s top mobile payments app, has launched a hyperlocal commerce app, Pincode to focus on the eCommerce industry in a move reminiscent of its successful early bet on the government-backed UPI network. The startup is backed by Walmart, a US-based eCommerce company.
Just last month, Walmart invested about $200 million in the Indian digital payments firm. PhonePe is one of the most valuable companies in India and the most valuable payment company. According to the firm, the investment is from its ongoing $1 billion round of fundraising.
Pushing for PhonePe Local eCommerce with Pincode
Tuesday saw the launch of Pincode, a hyperlocal commerce app, Pincode powered by the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an Indian government initiative aiming to democratize the eCommerce landscape by providing a zero-commission platform.
In an interview at the launch event, PhonePe executives said Pincode will work with neighborhood stores and will launch in Bengaluru first. In addition to General Atlantic and Tiger Global, the firm has hopes to gradually expand to more cities and get 100,000 orders each day by the end of the year.
“This is the UPI moment for eCommerce, ” said Sameer Nigam, co-founder, and chief executive of PhonePe. I think there is legitimate friction in the eCommerce industry. Would we have entered the eCommerce industry had ONDC not happened? Absolutely not.”
The Indian commerce government established the nonprofit organization ONDC in 2021. It is an interoperable network that allows buyers and sellers to transact independently of the provider they choose, breaking consumers’ reliance on Amazon and Flipkart’s proprietary services.
“Pincode is a brand-new shopping app and offers a revolutionary new approach to eCommerce, which puts all the local stores and sellers at the heart of the digital shopping growth story. Pincode is built on the ONDC network, which allows us to generate demand for merchants inclusively digitized by various seller platforms while creating new opportunities for growth and driving innovation at scale,” he added.
The Bengaluru-based digital payments firm is expected to be valued at about $12 billion. However, the firm finally added it will invest significant effort in Pincode and in enabling every Indian shopkeeper to spread across every nook and corner, over the next few years.