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Home / Companies / News /  Our ambition is to list Pine Labs in the global markets: B. Amrish Rau

In a pandemic year that saw millions of people turn to digital payments and fintech solutions, payments services unicorn Pine Labs doubled its valuation to $3 billion. The company is now in the middle of a fund-raise, even as it prepares for an international listing. After offering products for India’s micro-merchants, it has entered new markets in South-east Asia and tapped consumer payments with Singapore-based loyalty startup Fave. In an interview, chief executive officer B. Amrish Rau spoke of Pine Labs’ plans to go public, its international ambitions and fund-raising plans. Edited excerpts:

When can we expect Pine Labs to go public?

For Pine Labs, there is an expectation that over the course of the next two years, an initial public offering (IPO) should happen. We are still some time away from appointing bankers.

What takes a company to an IPO can change dramatically, and hence, we feel uncomfortable to set a date to it. But, there is a lot of appetite for India’s digital payments and e-commerce story and our recent investment (from foreign public market investors) is a proof of that.

Are there plans to raise more capital ahead of the IPO?

We expect to close another $75 million to $100 million, in a second close, as part of the current fund-raise.

Depending on our new acquisition strategy and products in the pipeline, we may look at another fund-raise by the end of the year (2021), in addition to the current one. However, Pine Labs is Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) positive, and in a good financial position. Our upcoming funding rounds will solely be focused on new products.

Pine Labs has reached a point where investors believe that we can go public. Further, public market investors realise that getting into interesting startups at the time of an IPO is becoming increasingly difficult. Hence, they are choosing to come in early.

Considering market conditions, will Pine Labs be considering a global listing?

Currently, our ambition is to list in the global markets. Pine Labs wants to become the first Indian fintech to list offshore, with the right unit economics and Ebitda profile, while recording 50-60% revenue growth year-on-year. We don’t want Pine Labs to be an India-centric story alone. Pine Labs’ listing internationally will not only be a good story for the global markets, but will also augur well for the larger fintech ecosystem back in India.

What are your plans for global expansion?

We will be launching our merchant payment solutions in the Middle-East by early next year. With our investor Mastercard, we are getting a good play to go deep into South-east Asia. Now, through our acquisition of Fave, we are taking our ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ to Singapore and Malaysia.

What is your product road map for the next two fiscals?

Over the next 24 months, we are going to put our focus and invest heavily on providing merchants with online tools, helping them do commerce better in the offline world. We want to do more work with regards to technology at checkout counters. This means helping merchants with invoicing, billing, reconciliations and settlements.

The third important pillar is enabling credit from banks to consumers on our platform.

Through our recently launched AllTap App solution, we want to go deeper into the micro-merchant category and provide solutions for street vendors, hawkers and sellers. We are already doing 3 million transactions daily on the AllTap platform.

Pine Labs currently powers close to 1 billion online transactions every month and this number will grow to almost 10 billion, in 12 months. Now with the Fave acquisition, we are also starting to talk to consumers directly, and plan to invest heavily on that part of the business.

What is the acquisitions strategy for Pine Labs?

Our expansion areas (through acquisitions) will be in the consumer and merchant commerce side of the business.

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