Pine Labs has announced that it is acquiring Bengaluru-based Setu, an application programming interface (API) fintech startup. The deal valued at $70-75 million and will entail a mix of cash and equity.
Commenting on the announcement, B Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs, said, “Setu will make an incredible addition to the Pine Labs platform for a few reasons. Embedded financial services and open banking are going to be the way forward and the embedded finance market value is expected to exceed $138 billion by 2026 as APIs are intensifying the competitive fintech landscape. Setu helps their customers, merchants, and brands build beautiful experiences, so consumers can engage with payments and financial services on their terms. We are in the golden phase of digitisation in India, and Setu is a pioneer in supporting innovation on the India stack – their work on UPI and in the account aggregator space is moving the industry forward. Lastly, Setu is a team of builders and entrepreneurs, and together with the Pine Labs team will tackle hard problems to solve in the ecosystem. We are more than delighted to welcome the co-founders Nikhil and Sahil and their young and vibrant team to the Pine Labs family.”
Meanwhile, Sahil Kini, co-founder and CEO, Setu, said, “We are excited with this investment coming from Pine Labs. At Setu, we are building some amazing products and enabling a future of consent-driven access to financial data. We believe democratisation of technology will yield better results when it comes to making financial products accessible to all and therefore have our APIs open for the developer community. Pine Labs’ network of merchants and issuers coupled with our API integration prowess will help achieve great results in personal finance management, monitoring loans to predict default rates, credit underwriting, and several other areas.”
Also, Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited, said, “I have seen both Sahil and Nikhil at close quarters earlier, at Aadhaar and UPI. The kind of infra Setu is building will be very important for India in the years to come and I am happy that they are relentlessly moving towards that goal and this partnership with Pine Labs will help them to accelerate. My best wishes to both Amrish and the team at Setu.”
Setu has seen strong demand for its products – their APIs are being used across diverse industry verticals today including startups, retail enterprises, banks, insurance, and lending companies. Setu’s existing and emerging use cases cut across multiple digital ecosystems, from Aadhaar eSign to Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), payment collection integration via WhatsApp, FASTag payment collection and more.
Setu works with account aggregator partners which are non-banking financial companies operating under the Non-banking Financial Company Account Aggregator (NBFC-AA) license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). They enable the consolidation of all financial data of users at a single location and allows users to access services quickly. These account aggregators operate under the NITI Aayog’s consent-driven data-sharing framework called Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA).