Pine Labs

With its IPO (which is likely to take place in the US) around the corner, digital payments provider Pine Labs raised yet another $315 million in fresh capital, closing a $600 million funding round with the entry of new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds managed by BlackRock, Ishana, Tree Line, a fund advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC. IIFL AMC via its ‘Late-Stage Tech Fund’. Kotak also took part in the investment round.

This comes a month after the company had raised $285 million in primary and secondary equity sales, from public market investors, including Baron Capital Group, Duro Capital, Marshall Wace, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Ward Ferry Management. Backed by reputed names like Sequoia Capital, PayPal, Mastercard, Actis, and Temasek Holdings, the merchant platform unicorn continues to be well-financed and has been EBITDA profitable for several years.

Pine Labs has been known to offer solutions for in-store and online payments as well as prepaid, loyalty, and “pay later” programs and is currently valued at $3 billion. With a wide range of customized offerings for in-store and doorstep Payments, Pay Later at the point of sale (which is offered to nearly 100 million customers in India, Singapore, and Malaysia), Prepaid Issuance, and Online Payments to large, mid-market, and small retailers, the start-up has a presence across Asia and the Middle East and serves over 6 million consumers across over 40, 000 merchant establishments (largely due to its acquisition of Fave this April).

With the acquisition of Fave, Pine Labs entered the consumer payments segment, as it looks to offer Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments and cashback to Indian customers and strengthen its presence in the Southeast Asian markets.

Its prepaid gifting platform, QwikCilver, operates in India, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Australia, and the start-up counts among its customers, reputed names such as Apple, Starbucks Corp., and McDonald’s Corp. Pine Labs has made significant progress in its “offline-to-online strategy” in India and the direct-to-consumer play in Southeast Asia.

“Our full-stack approach to payments and merchant commerce has allowed us to grow in-month merchant partnerships by nearly 100% over the last year. We are excited to bring on board a marquee set of new investors in this round and appreciate the confidence they have placed in the Pine Labs business model and our growth momentum,” said B. Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs.

With the fintech industry in India growing at an annual rate of nearly 50%, it is time for companies like Pine Labs to step up. Eyeing an additional fund raise later this year,  it is looking to expand into new geographies of the Middle East by early next year. The start-up is growing at about a 60% annual clip as stores expand their payment options.

“Pine Labs has rapidly transformed from a single product company allowing retail acceptance of payments to a broader payments platform. The company now serves hundreds of thousands of merchants across payments acceptance on cards and UPI processing tens of billions of payment volume,” said Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital. “With leadership across multiple categories, the company is very well positioned to help drive immense value to its merchant partners in India and across other SEA markets,” he added.