Pine Labs - Financial Services for Merchants
Founded in 1998, Pine Labs is the 3rd most valued private fintech company in India.
Founded in 1998, Noida-headquartered Pine Labs is a leading merchant platform in India that offers a wide range of finance solutions and value-added services to accept offline and online retail payments.
In 2020, Pine Labs became India’s first unicorn of the year after receiving an undisclosed amount of funding from US-based Mastercard, bringing its total valuation to $1.6B.The company’s latest funding was in 2021 when it raised $100M from Invesco Developing Markets Fund. In June 2021, the venture was valued at $3B. The company is looking to file for an initial public offering within the next 12 months and has hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to advise the firm on the IPO.
Pine Labs is backed by notable investors like Actis Capital, Altimeter Capital, Sofina, Sequoia Capital India, Temasek, PayPal, and Mastercard. The company serves leading brands like Hypercity, Pizza Hut, Mcdonalds, Westside, Flipkart, Hotspot, Big Bazaar, Marks & Spencer, Croma, Starbucks, Reliance Digital, Bata, Burger King, and more.
Business Overview & Products
Pine Lab offers a suite of fintech solutions for merchants to accept payments. Its presence spans 3,700 cities and towns in India and Malaysia, with its services being used by more than 70,000 retailers in India.
360-degree payment solution: An omnichannel payment solution for both online and in-store selling. These include Plural Gateway – a payment dashboard for credit cards, debit cards, and UPI; Plural Checkout which is a mobile software development kit; and a single tech framework for multiple payment gateways called Plural Console.
BNPL Solutions: Clients can also avail the BNPL solution where their customers can buy products and services first and pay later for them.
Loyalty Rewards: Loyalty program tailored right into the POS system so that no extra equipment or hassle is required in rewarding customers.
Qwikcilver: A global SaaS prepaid and gift card solution.
Pine Lab Analytics: Use business data to tap into customer behavior and optimize business performance.
Working Capital Loan: Clients can leverage a network of NBFC partners that can be used to get working capital loans.
Product Development: Open APIs to help developers join a network and build fintech products.
How It Works
Pine Labs offers a range of customized credit solutions to customers and businesses through partnerships with different banks and non-banking financial institutions in India. The company offers in-store and doorstep payments, PayLater at the point of sale, prepaid issuance, online payments, instant EMI, instant discounts, cashback programs, loyalty solutions, eWallet, dynamic currency conversion, and gift solutions to large, mid-market, and small retailers.
The company’s POS machines allow merchants to accept credit and debit card payments and are connected to the cloud. They also offer a variety of additional services such as working capital to the merchants. Merchants use these POS machines to increase revenue whilst reducing costs, complexity, and risks.
Pine Lab’s applications integrated with its POS machines to digitize important aspects of a merchant’s business such as inventory management, GST compliance, capturing customer feedback, barcode scanning, invoicing, and more.
Business Model & Pricing
Pine Labs had a B2B business model initially but they have recently forayed into the B2C field through their partnership with Fave. This collaboration aims to provide cashless payment solutions to offline SMEs and enterprises in an attempt to increase digitization and growth post-COVID-19 recovery. By integrating Fave’s QR code into Pine Lab’s terminals, the company enables secure and effortless payment acceptance and loyalty solutions for merchants.
The company serves the omnichannel needs of its merchants through a wide range of financial solutions and value-added services. This is made possible due to their smart, cloud-based POS machines which have redefined the fintech space and helped both large and small merchants increase their presence in local markets.
The company’s major sources of revenue are the monthly fees it earns from its POS machines and from its sales of products such as POS payment devices. The venture also earns money by leasing its devices as well as from subscription charges and the sale of services.
Pine Labs turned profitable in the financial year ending March 2017. In 2021, the company reported a 64% growth in revenue from $65M in FY20 to $107M the next year. It has processed an annualized gross transaction value (GTV) of $1B and payment gateway transactions worth $20.1M.
The company prides itself on being one of the oldest fintech companies in India and is now the 3rd most valued fintech in the country aswell.To date,it has managed to power more than 350,000 POS terminals and onboarded over 100 million customers on its platform. Pine Labs serves over 140,000 merchants and has more than 70,000 retailers across India. Moreover, since its inception it has partnered with over 15 major banks, 7 financial institutions and 100+ brands.
Tarun Upaday: A graduate of IIT Delhi with a Masters in Mathematics and Computer Applications, he founded Gallop, a personal travel assistant for businesses. He is currently CEO for Routespring Inc, which provides travel management for teams.
Lokvir Kapoor: A graduate of IIM Bangalore with an MBA preceded by a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, he previously worked with Schlumberger in the areas of financial management and business development.
Rajul Garg: A graduate of IIT Delhi with a BTech in Computer Science, Founded Leo Capital, a venture capital fund, investing in early-stage, technology-centric opportunities, Sunstone Eduversity and Global Logic.
History & Evolution
In 1998, Pine Labs was founded by Kapoor, Garg and Udhapaya for providing automated solutions for the Indian retail petroleum industry.
In 2005 Pine Labs complied with EMV and Visa certification to process debit and credit card payments.
In 2007, the company launched multi-acquiring payment solutions.
In 2009, the company moved from petroleum-focused solutions to POS payment solutions by providing mainstream payments and financial offerings for merchants.
In 2010, Pine Labs launched the Plutus Transaction Reconciliation Management and Airpost Lounge Program.
In 2017, Pine Labs entered the Malaysian market with an exclusive partnership with CIMB Bank.
In 2019, Pine labs acquired Qwikcilver Solutions, a gift solution provider.
The company won the 2019 ‘Indian Merchant Platform Customer Value Leadership Award’ at the Frost & Sullivan - 2019 India Best Practices Awards.
In 2020, Pine Labs partnered with Mastercard to deliver a range of card and real-time payments.
That year the company was declared the winner of the ‘Best Digital API’ award in the category of Best Technology Solutions at the 11th India Digital Awards.
In 2021, Pine Labs acquired Fave, a Fintech platform empowering small and medium-sized enterprises to grow in the digital economy.
It also launched Plural, a merchant commerce platform.
Pine Labs from archive.org
One thing that differentiates Pine Labs from its competitors is that its payment terminals have integration with over two dozen banks and financial and technology partners. However, rival companies typically have integration with just one bank, which is why every time they form a new partnership with a bank, they need to deploy new machines into the market. This in turn makes the whole deployment process expensive for the fintech and bank.
The company has now changed its name to Pine Labs Limited as it is looking to make its venture public by March 2022. According to reports, the venture has confidentially filed for a US IPO to raise $500M.
India’s FinTech market size was $31B in 2021, making it the third-largest ecosystem after the USA and China.
Product & Organization Reviews
Pine Labs advertisements are focused on how AllTap can provide ease of payments to traditional small and medium services and businesses that are adapting to the pandemic.
Ads also emphasize the various modes of payment available in the AllTap app (NFC, QR, Payment Link etc.)
Success Story of Pine Labs - Founder, Revenue, Funding, Products (Sarika Anand, Startup Talky, October 15, 2021)
Nearly as old as Google, Pine Labs is betting on these two segments to make it worth $6 billion (Ridhima Saxena, Business Insider India, September 28, 2021)
Pine Labs – Unicorn Future, Hoary Past (Sumanth Raghavendra, The Ken, February 7, 2020)