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Pine Labs acquires Amazon-backed Qwikcilver for $110 million

Pine Labs, a merchant platform based in Singapore, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Bengaluru-based gift card solutions provider Qwikcilver – which counts Amazon among its investors – for $110 million (approx Rs758 crore). It claims to manage an annualised gross transaction value of $1.5 billion across India, Middle East and South East Asia, according to an IANS report. Pine Labs said that the deal was funded from the company’s cash reserves, with additional funding from existing investors. Pine Labs, whose investors include Sequoia India, PayPal, Temasek, Actis Capital, Altimeter Capital, Madison India Capital and Sofina, started its own gift solutions business ‘Pine Perks’ four years ago. The combined gift solutions business will be the largest in India with a customer base of over 250 brands and retailers, and 1,500 enterprise customers, the company said in a statement.

Kumar Sudarsan, co-founder and CEO of Qwikcilver, will join the Pine Labs leadership once the deal is completed, reported IANS. Qwikcilver was founded in 2006.

Amazon was an investor in Qwikcilver

It’s worth noting that Amazon Asia Pacific was an investor in Qwikcilver, having picked up just under 15% in Qwikcilver in 2014. Qwikcilver powered most of the gift cards for Amazon India, via its prepaid wallet. A question remains about whether Amazon will take the gift cards business in-house following this sale.

Apart from Amazon, Qwikcilver had investors including Sistema Asia Fund ($10 million in July 2016) and undisclosed investments from Helion and Accel India in 2008. In 2015, soon after Amazon picked up a stake in it, Quiksilver changed into a gifting marketplace by rebranding its flagship product Giftbig to Woohoo. It partnered with retailers such as Future Group, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, PVR, Titan and Landmark, as well as e-commerce firms such as Flipkart, Makemytrip and Amazon.

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