Tencent, Naspers eye stake in SG payments solutions firm Pine Labs: Report

Tencent Holding Ltd

Chinese internet giant Tencent and Naspers of South Africa are considering picking up a stake in Pine Labs, a payments solutions firm headquartered in Singapore, in a fundraising deal that could value the startup at about $1.5 billion, according to a Times of India report.

DealStreetAsia first reported in August that Pine Labs was in advanced talks to close its new funding round at a valuation of around $2 billion.

Sources quoted by Times of India said the company is looking at a valuation of $1.5 billion, which is nearly double the $800-million valuation when it raised capital last year.

Established in 1998, Pine Labs offers cloud-based point-of-sale payments solutions that enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments, in addition to transactions using e-wallets, QR codes and India’s unified payments interface (UPI).

The report added that Naspers and its fintech unit PayU are considering a majority stake in Pine Labs, while Tencent and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s largest pension funds, are looking at a minority stake.

The startup’s existing backers such as Temasek and PayPal are likely to participate in the current funding round. The company raised $125 million from Temasek and PayPal last May. Prior to that, Pine Labs had raised $82 million from private equity fund Actis and California-based investment company Altimeter Capital.

A large part of the funds raised in May was used to finance its $110-million acquisition of QwikCilver.

In July, Pine Labs has secured about $102 million in fresh infusion from its Singapore-headquartered parent Pine Labs Pte Ltd, per the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

The proposed funding will help the Singapore firm facilitate its overseas expansion plans. The company, which works with global brands and merchants, is said to be aggressively looking to expand its operations in Asia in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia, Malaysia and UAE.

The additional capital will also help the company expand in the lending space.

The interest in Pine Labs comes as Asian venture capital firms have identified fintech as one of the four areas as the next growth frontiers in the region. The other three are blockchain, medtech, and B2B.

Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings also announced plans to invest in sectors such as fintech, B2B, and healthcare, as it scouts for Southeast Asia’s aspiring unicorns.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.