Pine Labs Pvt. Ltd, which manages digital payments for retailers, has appointed Visa Inc.’s former global head of products and solutions, Vicky Bindra, as its new CEO, more than a month after getting valued $900 million in a fundraising worth $82 million (Rs 530 crore) led by new investor Actis Capital. The firm, which is now $100 million shy of haloed unicorn status, had also seen new investor Altimeter Capital participate in the round.
Bindra, on Pine Labs board since 2016, replaces Lokvir Kapoor, who will continue to remain with the firm, a company spokesperson said. Bindra, whose global experience is seen increasing the firm’s international footprint, had been with payments technology company Visa Inc. for more than two years right up to March 2018.
A veteran with deep domain experience, Bindra was president of Asia-Pacific and global accounts at MasterCard; and India CEO at GE Capital. He has also worked with Bain & Company, Citibank, and Kerr Pannell Foster.
Pine Labs also plans to tap Bindra’s global experience for building new layers of services for merchants, banks and other communities in the payments ecosystem.
Founded in 1998 by Rajul Garg, Pine Labs provides payments and loyalty solutions to retailers. The firm had appointed Kapoor as CEO in 2004.
Reflecting on the new appointment, Kapoor said, “Pine, so far, has been driven by technology-led innovations. But with an expanding base, opportunities are opening up that require an international perspective, along with other adjacent financial sector expertise. Bindra has the heart and thought process of an entrepreneur, making him a great cultural fit. This, coupled with his experience in large and diverse financial services companies, will add tremendous value to our plans.”
Pine Labs has developed a cloud-based payments platform, which allows merchants to accept traditional electronic payment methods such as credit or debit cards issued by any banks, e-wallets, QR (quick response) code payment solutions or other UPI-based solutions, on a single platform. UPI is Unified Payments Interface.
Through its cloud platform, Pine Labs has been able to offer retailers targeted customer-engagement campaigns; consumer analytics; and in-store consumer financing for partner brands that can be tailored to customers at the point of sale. The company claims it has facilitated more than $1 billion in consumer credit on an annualised basis and its systems are currently deployed at 300,000 payment acceptance terminals.
The latest products in Pine Labs’ portfolio include electronic gift cards, and a pay-by-points product that spans major card loyalty programmes. Pine Labs has also partnered non-banking financial companies to rapidly scale up the merchant lending business.
In 2009, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital led a $1.47 million fundraising for Pine Labs, which also saw the participation of New Atlantic Ventures.
In August 2017, The Economic Times had reported that the venture capital firm was exploring the sale of its stake in Pine Labs.
In December 2017, Pine Labs entered Malaysia with a partnership with a bank. The company, which is in talks with over a dozen international banks, now aims to expand to other new markets across Asia and West Asia (the Middle East).