Indian fintech firm Pine Labs eyes IPO in 12 months - CEO

NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Indian fintech firm Pine Labs is considering an initial public offering in as little as a year, its chief executive said on Thursday, as the company made a foray into the online payments space that it sees as a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Pine Labs, which counts venture firm Sequoia Capital, Singapore state investor Temasek, and U.S. firms PayPal (PYPL.O) and Mastercard (MA.N) among its backers, offers services and tools such as inventory management and payment terminals to merchants across Asia and the Middle East.

The company, headquartered on the outskirts of New Delhi, was valued at $3.5 billion after its closed a $600 million funding round in July.

"We are at a stage where we will want to look at an IPO option in the next 12 months' time," CEO Amrish Rau told Reuters in a virtual interview, declining to specify whether the company would list overseas and the valuation it was eyeing.

Indian stock markets have hit an all-time high this year, which has seen many tech startups vying to list publicly. Food delivery firm Zomato (ZOMT.NS) kicked off the startup listing boom earlier this year, while several others are preparing for an IPO.

On Thursday, Pine Labs launched three online products, including a payments gateway and a software development kit for smartphones under the name 'Plural'.

"In the next 18 months time I see this (online business) to be a $25 billion opportunity (annually) just for Pine Labs," Rau said.

"We have an opportunity where we can potentially double our volumes in the next two-and-a-half years' time."

Pine Labs' payments business, which sells to sectors including hospitality, telecoms and electronics, clocks up to $35 billion in revenues annually.

The company was founded by three engineers in 1998 to provide retail automation solutions to petroleum companies. It widened its payments services to merchants in the early 2000s.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Jan Harvey

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