Singapore’s merchant commerce unicorn Pine Labs has acquired Malaysian eCommerce FinTech startup Fave in a deal worth in excess of $45 million, Reuters reported on Tuesday (April 13).
The cash and equity deal will give Fave’s investors an all-cash payout, with the company’s founders and key staff receiving both cash and shares of Pine Labs. Founded in Singapore about six years ago by Joel Neoh, Fave has strived to help transition offline businesses to the digital economy, linking sellers and buyers for seamless payments. The company is an aggregator for Visa, Mastercard, American Express and wallets like Grab and OVO.
With operations in more than 35 cities in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Fave has teamed up with other firms in a strategy to promote change. In 2016 and 2017, the company acquired Groupon in those regions, and has introduced numerous micro and small businesses to the benefits of further exposure through marketing, data and financing.
Fave has been backed by Sequoia India, SIG Asia Investments and Indonesian venture capital firm Venturra Capital. Pine Labs backed Fave in July 2020 when both companies collaborated.
In an August 2020 interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Fave’s founder said there has been a gap in Southeast Asia in terms of mobile payments. He aimed to offer value-added services on top of payments to include customer acquisition and retention. Among Fave’s goals was to facilitate digital acceptance for firms of any size to provide friction-free options, starting with QR codes, Neoh told Webster.
“If you couple QR together with cards and provide that full suite of payment acceptance that captures different formats, that is what the merchant needs,” he noted, adding that merchants in the region shy away from going digital in part due to a fear of associated fees and taxes.