Pine Labs, Amrish Rau, Sequoia Capital, and a fintech journey

India’s largest deployer of card payment terminals, Pine Labs, is transforming into a fintech company under its latest CEO, Amrish Rau. The big question is if Rau can take the company past the finish line—a public market listing—by selling the fintech story?

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By 

Pratik Bhakta

July 07, 2021

9 Min Read

Pine Labs is no stranger to changing business models. Beginning its journey in 1998 as a software provider to petroleum retailers, the company has evolved into a payments behemoth catering to more than 150,000 merchants across Asia.

Its latest transformation—from a deployer of card reading terminals to a fintech company spanning digital payments, consumer credit, and business loans—under a relatively new management team will be its most defining yet.

Amrish Rau, who was named CEO in March last year, is targeting a public share listing at a $5 billion valuation. On Tuesday, Rau announced a $600 million fundraise over two rounds this year at a $3 billion valuation, and said he was targeting a global IPO within 18 months.

Also pushing for Pine Labs’s transformation is Sequoia Capital. After backing the company for more than 12 years, highly unusual in the venture capital world, Sequoia has entrusted Rau to take it public.

One of Rau’s mandates is to build solutions on top of the massive data Pine Labs generates so it can compete with the likes of BharatPe and Paytm, which have captured the micro business segment with their QR code-based payments platforms.

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