Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

Pine Labs, a merchant commerce startup, has received approval from a Singapore court to merge its local entity with its Indian unit, and transfer all its assets and properties, effectively permitting the firm to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs disclosed the court order in a recent regulatory filing seen by TechCrunch.

Pine Labs offers a range of products and services to merchants, such as cloud-connected point-of-sale machines and working capital. It is backed by Peak XV, Fidelity, Invesco, Temasek, PayPal and Alpha Wave and is valued at over $5 billion.

It is among the handful of Indian startups that have been shifting their domiciles to India of late. Meesho, Zepto, Flipkart, Razorpay and Udaan are also in the process of evaluating a similar move. Fintech startups PhonePe and Groww have already relocated their overseas holding entities to India.

Pine Labs declined to comment.

An investor in Indian startups said firms are shifting their domiciles to India because it is highly unlikely for startups with valuations below $20 billion to get meaningful coverage from analysts in developed markets, which will lead to limited demand from institutional investors.

"But in India, everything trades at a premium because there's so much demand for tech companies," the investor said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. Entrepreneur Gokul Rajaram made a similar observation about software companies in India.

The transfer is expected to help Pine Labs "achieve business synergies and more economies of scale," the startup explained in its court filing. It will also help the firm "achieve cost savings" and "simplification of the shareholding structure."