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Pine Labs, Mastercard to expand 'pay later' solution to Southeast Asian markets New Delhi, Dec 9 (PTI) Mastercard and Pine Labs on Wednesday said they will launch their integrated 'pay later' solution in five Southeast Asian markets early next year.

The facility will help merchants offer consumers the flexibility of zero-interest instalments on purchases, expand business for merchants and connect banks, fintechs, payment gateways and device makers to a rapidly growing financing alternative.

By combining the expertise and technology assets of Mastercard and Pine Labs, the expansion adds to their existing 'pay later' partnership in India and Malaysia that started in early 2020, it added.

The solution will be rolled out in Thailand and the Philippines in February, followed shortly by Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, it said.

The global 'pay later' market is expected to grow from USD 7.3 billion in 2019 to USD 33.6 billion in 2027 at an annual rate of more than 21 per cent, according to a study by Coherent Market Insights. The market intelligence and consulting group sees Asia Pacific as the fastest-growing region.

In January this year, Mastercard also made an investment in Pine Labs, which processes more than USD 30 billion of payments per year, serves about 150,000 merchants across 450,000 network points in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

**** Mihup raises USD 1.5mn funding from Accel Partners, others * Mihup Communications, a conversational AI platform, on Wednesday said it has raised USD 1.5 million (about Rs 11 crore) in an ongoing series A round.

The founding round is led by Accel Partners, Ideaspring Capital, venture capitalists Rajesh Jain (founder of Netcore), and Jayant Kadambi (founder and CEO YuMe Networks), a statement said.

The proceeds will be used to expand the Mihup team, build new product capabilities and enter new markets, it added.

Prior to this round, the startup had secured seed funding and pre-Series A funding from Accel Partners and Ideaspring Capital.

'The funding will allow us to push Mihup to greater heights and invest in areas that will be a key to our long-term vision and success, and we are thrilled to have Accel Partners continuing as our investors and welcome Ideaspring Capital as our investor partner. We will soon be launching a new product in the automobile space,' Mihup CEO and co-founder Tapan Barman said.

**** Israel's Dataloop raises funding from Indian angel investors * Dataloop, a platform for AI data management and annotation, on Wednesday said eight angel investors from India, led by Saket Agarwal of Onnivation have invested in the company.

'With participation from Umang Bedi, Virendra Gupta, Bikram Singh Bedi, Gaurav Gupta, Salil Musale and Saket Agarwal, the investment will help to enable the expansion of Dataloop's presence in India,' a statement said.

This further reinforces a larger trend of cooperation between Israel and India in the technology sector, it added.

To date, Tel Aviv-based Dataloop has raised USD 16 million (about Rs 118 crore) in funding. Dataloop helps enterprises that are developing AI in India and across the globe with their customisable SaaS platform that weaves together human and machine intelligence to train and label unstructured data.

'The data annotation industry is rapidly growing in India and we are extremely excited to be expanding Dataloop's presence here.

'Israel and India have developed a strong partnership and we look forward to working together and the opportunities it will bring to the Indian market,' Eran Shlomo, CEO of Dataloop, said. PTI SR ABM ABM