Pine Labs CEO Vicky Bindra quits, leaving the digital payments company in leadership vacuum

Lokvir Kapoor, the current executive chairman of Pine Labs might step in for the interim period.

Vicky Bindra, the chief executive officer of Pine Labs has quit the company, said two sources in the know of the matter thereby throwing one of the largest digital payment companies in the country into a leadership vacuum.

Lokvir Kapoor, a cofounder and previously the chief executive at the company is understood to have stepped in briefly to lead the charge, but the company is looking for a fresh professional leader, they said.

“Vicky has quit the company quite a few weeks back, though it has not been officially announced yet I think they have already started looking for a successor,” said a person aware of the developments on the condition of anonymity.

Pine Labs did not respond to official queries till the time of publication of this report.

Bindra was brought in to assume the role of the CEO at Pine Labs back in April 2018 with Kapoor assuming the charge of an Executive Chairman. Before this he was leading Visa’s Global Product and Solutions Group based out of San Francisco. He had prior experience in Mastercard, GE Capital, Bain and Co., and Citi Group. Bindra, as a global finance professional was slated to lead Pine Labs into the new era of digital payments and expand from card payments to more of a merchant service platform.

 Pine Labs CEO Vicky Bindra quits, leaving the digital payments company in leadership vacuum

Vicky Bindra, CEO, PineLabs. Image: PineLabs/The Rational

He was also slated to lead the company’s foray into international markets and tap the growing digital payments adoption in the Middle East, South East Asia, and others. What exactly led to Bindra leaving the company could not be independently ascertained by Tech2.

Under Bindra’s leadership, Pine Labs acquired gifting and loyalty solutions startup Qwikcilver for $110 million. It also brought in Sudarshan Kumar, CEO of Qwikcilver within its leadership team, mainly to drive loyalty and gifting solutions for Pine Labs merchants.

“Pine Labs is one of the largest payment companies in India, it has reported revenues of around Rs 500 crore last year, but it is still not profitable, there might have been questions asked around profitability by the board,” said a payments industry executive on the condition of anonymity.

As per financials reported by the company, it had a net loss of Rs 13.7 crore up from Rs 2.5 crore.

Pine Labs has been one of the major successes of the evolving payments landscape of the country. Having forayed into the mainstream payments business back in 2009, the Sequoia-backed company became one of the largest point of sales deploying entity for organised retail. It used to compete with others like Worldline and Innoviti.

Back in 2017, Sequoia was looking to partially sell its more than two-thirds stake in Pine Labs at a billion-dollar valuation for the payments giant. Since then over the last two years, Pine Labs has brought few of the best global investors onboard. From PayPal, Temasek who led a $125 million round in 2018 to Mastercard pumping in an undisclosed amount last month. The company is understood to have broken into the unicorn club already.

“The digital payments business is going through challenging times and there is an extreme competition between players, Pine Labs needs to get its act together in order to be able to maintain its leadership position in organised retail here,” said one of the sources mentioned above.

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