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Fintech firm Pine Labs acquires payments platform Fave for $45 million

Pine Labs is a merchant platform company that offers financing and last-mile retail transaction technology. It announced that it has acquired Fave, a Kuala Lumpur-based payments and discovery platform in an all-cash deal worth $45 million. The alliance will assist the merchant commerce startup create a consumer vertical in India and Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, and Singapore. 

Commenting on the development, Amrish Rau, the chief executive of PineLabs said, the acquisition will allow Fave to roll out its payments app in India, enabling Indian consumers to perform transactions at almost 5 lakh physical retail points and merchants driven by Pine Labs.

“For long we have seen that the experience of consumers making offline transactions is often broken in the sense that unlike online payments it is difficult to organize discounts, loyalties, cashback schemes on a single platform,” he added.

Fave’s platform focuses on offering discounts and loyalty benefits on physical transactions via cashbacks, discount coupons, gift cards, and other instruments. Established in 2016, the company claims to have partnered with more than 40,000 retailers in Southeast Asia with a gross payment volume of $400 million.

Rau further says that Fave is in the final stages of acquiring a UPI certification from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to roll out its payment app in India in the upcoming months.

With the acquisition, Fave’s business is valued at about $45 million, Rau said, adding that Fave’s founders have received additional cash and Pine Labs’ stocks.

Fave is looking to retain its brand and employee base in South Asia as a separate consumer vertical for Pine Labs, Rau added. Joel Neoh, the co-founder and CEO of Fave, will lead this business. The company will also get an Indian branch where Pine Labs is looking to recruit 100 new employees.

“Pine Labs has been a great partner and investor for us, and it only made sense for us to join our synergies together and work towards our shared vision of building a truly global consumer and merchant platform,” said Neoh.

Pine Labs had initially made a strategic investment in Fave in June 2020 to obtain a share of the swiftly digitizing South Asian offline commerce market.

In December 2020, Pine Labs had raised $75 to $100 million led by US-based billionaire Stephen Mandel’s hedge fund Lone Pine, adding the Noida-based merchant-commerce startup to the growing list of fintech unicorns in the country.

Pine Labs long-term investors include renowned names like Mastercard, Temasek, Paypal, Sequoia India, and Actis LLP. The company had recently launched a merchant app called All Tap which facilitated shopkeepers to make Near Field Communications (NFC) based payments.

The company has witnessed accelerated growth on its platform following the pandemic, given the transition from cash to digital payments. 

Since the Covid pandemic, more and more people are adopting digital payment solutions. This presents a huge possibility for the segment to flourish.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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