Walmart-owned PhonePe on Wednesday announced its foray into stockbroking as the digital payments platform looks to enter new businesses.
The company's subsidiary PhonePe Wealth Broking Pvt. Ltd. launched an app called Share(dot)Market that allows users to open trading accounts, invest in stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETF), and quantitative research-based WealthBaskets — investment products by SEBI-registered intermediaries that align with specific themes, sectors, or market.
The launch comes weeks after PhonePe raised a total of $850 million in funding in recent months. The payments firm earlier this year rolled out an online shopping app called Pincode based on the ONDC platform.
Discount broking app Share(dot)Market is available as a mobile app and a web platform.
PhonePe, which currently leads the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) market, plans to leverage its reach and distribution capabilities for its latest offering.
But gaining market share as a low-cost stockbroker may not be a cake walk for PhonePe. The company will compete with India's largest brokerage Zerodha, Groww and Upstox.
PhonePe may face challenges from incumbent players in the market, says the company's founder and CEO Sameer Nigam in media interaction post launch. There are no targets in terms of customer acquisition, he says.
PhonePe will be able to drive awareness of share.market, says Nigam.
"In the last few years, we have seen an increase in the percentage of savings going into equities in a big way. There is a vibrant growth in the active trading community which trades with different objectives. We believe Share(dot)Market will propel this growth with the backing of our technological prowess, reach, seamless onboarding, and superior product experience," says Ujjwal Jain, chief executive officer, Share(dot)Market.
"Our goal is to offer the benefits of discount broking while creating lasting value for our customers as they invest and trade," Jain adds.
Share(dot)Market plans to bring newer demographics into broking helping them get started on their investing journey with quant research-led offerings including WealthBaskets, says Sujit Modi, chief investment officer, Share(dot)Market.