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Asian merchant commerce giant Pine Labs secures $600 million

Pine Labs said on Tuesday it has closed a $600 million financing round as the Asian merchant commerce platform sets the goal to explore the public markets within two years.

Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, Ishana, as well as a fund advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers, and IIFL and Kotak invested in the round, which values the startup at $3 billion. Pine Labs unveiled the new round, a name of which it hasn’t disclosed, earlier this year.

Pine Labs, which counts Sequoia Capital India, Temasek, PayPal and Mastercard among its early backers, offers hundreds of thousands of merchants payments terminals, invoicing tools and working capital.

Its payments terminal — also known as point-of-sale machines — are connected to the cloud, and offer a range of additional services such as working capital — to the merchants. Pine Labs’s payments terminal has integration with over two dozen banks and financial and technology partners.

This differentiates Pine Labs from the competition, whose terminals typically have integration with just one bank. Each time a rival firm strikes a new partnership with a bank, they need to deploy new machines into the market. This makes the whole deployment expensive for both the fintech and the bank. (This is why you also often see a restaurant has multiple terminals at the check out.) The startup says it processes tens of billions of payment transactions.

“Over the last year, 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,” said B. Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs.

“We are excited to bring on board a marquee set of new investors in this round and appreciate the confidence they have placed on the Pine Labs business model and our growth momentum,” said Amrish Rau, adding that he plans to take the startup public in 18 months.

In recent years, Pine Labs has made several acquisitions to broaden its business. In 2019, it acquired QwikCilver, which leads the market in gift cards category. Earlier this year, it acquired Southeast Asian startup Fave for $45 million as it broadened its consume side of the business.

Over 6 million consumers across over 40,000 merchant establishments now have access to the Fave app, the startup said.

“Through its acquisitions of QwikCilver and Fave, Pine Labs now has the market leading pre-paid platform in this region as well as the top consumer loyalty product in this market. 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,” said Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital.