Vicky Bindra, CEO, Pine Labs.
Vicky Bindra, CEO, Pine Labs.

Pine Labs eyes unicorn tag with new funding

  • Temasek’s deep network in several Asian nations could help Pine Labs expand operations in Southeast Asia
  • Pine Labs is likely to use the new cash to expand into international markets and make acquisitions

BENGALURU: Pine Labs, a payments solutions startup, could be the next company to join India’s coveted unicorn club. It is in advanced talks to close a funding round of around $75 million from existing investors including Temasek and PayPal, according to two people familiar with the matter.

This round could value Pine Labs at $1.2-1.4 billion, up from its previous valuation of $900-950 million, said one of the people cited above.

“The company is likely to use the new cash to expand into international markets and make acquisitions," said a person directly familiar with the company’s plans, requesting anonymity.

Founded in 1998, Pine Labs offers cloud-based point-of-sale payments solutions that allow merchants to accept credit and debit card payments besides transactions using e-wallets, QR codes and the unified payments interface (UPI).

The company raised $125 million from Temasek and PayPal last May. Prior to that, Pine Labs had raised $82 million from private equity fund Actis and California-based investment company Altimeter Capital.

Temasek’s deep network in several Asian nations could help Pine Labs expand operations in Southeast Asia. The Indian company could also leverage the technological capabilities of PayPal, one of the world’s biggest online payments companies.

PayPal and Pine Labs did not respond to queries sent by Mint till the time of going to press. Temasek said it does not comment on market speculation.

Pine Labs effected a management change last year. The company, which has been eyeing global markets, appointed board member Vicky Bindra—a former Visa and MasterCard executive—as its CEO to help speed up the process.

Rivals such as Walmart-backed PhonePe have been slowly entering the offline space.

Apart from leveraging UPI, PhonePe has been deploying a point-of-sale device for offline vendors and claims to have over 1 million offline merchants.

Mint reported on 11 February that private equity firms KKR and General Atlantic have expressed interest in investing in PhonePe, as the company looks to be spun off as an independent unit. Even SoftBank-backed Paytm has a strong offline presence through its QR codes.

Paytm raised $300 million from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway last year, which valued the company at $16 billion.

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