Fresh from agreeing its largest acquisition to date with a deal to buy European payment firm iZettle for $ 2.2 billion, PayPal is on the investment hunt once again after it backed India’s Pine Labs with a $ 125 million round.
The financing jointly comes from PayPal and Temasek, the sovereign investment fund from the Singaporean government with over $ 200 billion in assets. Both will take undisclosed “minority shares” in Pine Labs. Sequoia made a seed investment in 2009 and it remains the startup’s largest-single investor, the VC firm said.
The new deal takes New Delhi-based Pine Labs to $ 208 million raised from investors to date. It previously closed an $ 82 million investment from PE funds Actis and Altimeter Capital in March of this year at a reported valuation of $ 900 million. Recent reports speculated on the Temasek investment (but not PayPal) which would give Pine Labs a valuation of over $ 1 billion, thus vaulting it into the global ‘unicorn’ club. A spokesperson declined to give a confirmed valuation for the latest deal.
Like iZettle, Pine Labs offers a point-of-sale device that covers debit and credit cards, as well as new and increasingly popular digital payment methods that include mobile wallets, and services that support Indian government project UPI. Rather than other traditional POS devices that are common across India, Pine Labs’ is smart and cloud-based.
While that product gives it distribution, the company offers a suite of services for retailers and SMEs which include customer analytics, a transaction dashboard, and loan services. The company’s notable public-facing clients include retailer Croma, Nike, McDonald’s, Apple, KFC, Sony and Samsung.
Since that last investment in March, there’s been a change at the top. Pine Labs appointed board member Vicky Bindra, a former executive with Visa, MasterCard and GE Capital, as its CEO in April to go after international expansion and new services for consumers and banks. That’s also how this new capital will be spent, the company confirmed in an announcement.
In a statement, Bindra said Pine Lab’s annualized transaction volume is $ 15 billion through a base of around 300,000 payment points. He added that the business is “on track to originate over $ 1 billion USD of instant loans at point-of-sale terminals for card issuers and partner NBFCs this fiscal year.”
“We’re teaming up with Temasekand PayPal at a time when the Indian payments market is at an inflexion point. We are a leader in the offline payments space, a position that is critical in enabling the ecosystem of online payment products. The investments will help us move a step closer to our vision for building a world-class merchant-centric payments ecosystem,” Pine Labs founder Lokvir Kapoor added via a statement.