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Pine Labs may be the Next Entrant in India’s Unicorn World

It has been raining unicorns for Indian startup Industry during last one and half years. India has witnessed as many as 10-15 unicorns during the same period.  Of course, India is still no match to U.S. and China as both these countries comparatively boast far greater number of startups carrying valuation of more than $1 Bn.

Now in the reminder of year more Indian startups are likely to join the increasingly crowded world of unicorn with Fintech startup Pin Labs tipped to be next entrant. According to Times of India (TOI) report, Pine Labs is in talks to raise fresh funds that is likely to propel its valuation from current $800 Mn to nearly $1.5 bn.

The Noida based startup is reportedly in talks with number of high profile investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent and South African media conglomerate Naspers. The company is also said to be engaged in talks with Canada based pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ).

The TOI report further claims that Tencent and CDPQ are vying for a minority stake while Naspers is looking to buy a substantial stake in the Fintech Company.

The fundraising may also pave for secondary sale with existing and largest stake holder Sequoia Capital India may further bring down its stake. Last year, Sequoia Capital had made a partial exit after Pine Labs raised $200 Mn from PayPal, Temasek and other investors.

Pine Labs provides point of sale machines (POS) to merchants and helps them to seamlessly close down the online transactions.  It also provides credit and loans to small businesses & merchants. Today this Noida based company is among scores of Fintech startups that is thriving on the ongoing Fintech revolution being witnessed in India. Of course, much of this revolution is happening due to the increasing internet penetration across India.

Meanwhile, the fact that some investors want to invest in Pine Labs completely defies all ongoing talks of liquidity crisis plaguing India’s NBFC industry. The reports of NBFC companies struggling to raise funds has been doing rounds ever since infrastructure giant IL&FS’s 90,000 crore default payment came to the fore.

However, this supposedly massive liquidity crisis is apparently not having much of an impact on investors’ appetite to invest in Fintech startups. This year as well the investors have been more than generous in investing in Fintech startups.

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