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Pine Labs Acquires API Fintech Startup Setu In $70-75 Million Deal

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Pine Labs has acquired Setu, a Bengaluru-based API fintech startup, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $70-75 million.

“Setu will make an incredible addition to the Pine Labs platform…,” Amrish Rau, chief executive officer of Pine Labs, said during a virtual briefing on Thursday. “APIs [application programming interface] are intensifying the competitive fintech landscape.”

Setu has seen strong demand for its products: their APIs are used across diverse industry verticals, including startups, retail enterprises, banks, insurance, and lending companies. Its existing and emerging use cases cut across multiple digital ecosystems — from Aadhaar eSign to BBPS bill payments, payments collection via WhatsApp, and FASTag, etc.

An application programming interface acts as a link between computers or between computer programmes. In other words, it is a kind of software interface, offering a service to other software elements.

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Setu is the third acquisition announced by Pine Labs this year.

“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,” Rau said.

Setu — which has 90-100 employees — will retain its brand identity, business and team, following the buyout.

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“Pine Labs’ network of merchants and issuers, coupled with our API prowess, will help achieve great results in personal finance management, monitoring loans to predict default rates, credit underwriting, etc.,” said Sahil Kini, co-founder and chief executive at Setu.

Setu works with account aggregator partners which are non-banking financial companies operating under the “NBFC-AA” licence from the Reserve Bank of India. They enable the consolidation of financial data of users at a single location and allows them to access services quickly.

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