Pankaj Gupta quits as Google Pay engineering head to join US crypto firm

Executive says he will build Coinbase’s technology hub in India ‘from scratch’, hire people


Google Pay | Google Payment service | Google India

Peerzada Abrar  | 

Pankaj Gupta is leaving Google Pay after leading the company’s engineering in India and Asia-Pacific at a time when it competing with rivals for a share in the financial services market.

“I came in as an Apple fan-boy but leave wowed by the unimaginable reach of Android,” said Gupta, who was senior director of engineering at Google Pay and NBU (next billion users). He will join the US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, an online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency.

“I have a great sense of pride and gratitude to have been a part of the Tez rocketship aka Google Pay alongside you from zero to nnnM users today now sending annually more than $mmm Billion to each other,” he said.

Google Pay competes with players such as Walmart-owned PhonePe, Amazon Pay, and Alibaba-backed Paytm, which are also making significant inroads into the financial services market as well as payments.

An alumnus of Stanford University and IIT-Delhi, Gupta was the founder and CEO of Bengaluru-based Halli Labs that sepcialised in artificial intelligence and machine learning. He joined Google after it acquired Halli Labs in 2017. He headed all engineering in APAC for Google Tez (now called Google Pay India) right from launch. He also headed global engineering across countries for Google Pay Consumer Products.

Caesar Sengupta, Google’s Next Billion Users head, quit the technology giant after nearly 15 years in March this year.

Gupta, who earlier worked as a senior staff data scientist at Twitter, said he had joined Google as a data-hungry machine learning practitioner and is leaving the firm as a data-shy privacy fanatic. “I leave as someone who got the opportunity to go deep into real-time payment systems around the world and the very definition of money,” said Gupta. “I now converse with central banks around the world and co-architected the payment rails of our NUE application.”

“For the next phase of my life after Google, I am thrilled to share that I will be joining Coinbase as VP of Engineering and Site lead for India,” said Gupta. “I’ll be responsible for leading and building the company’s technology hub in India from scratch. I will be hiring across India.”

Approximately 56 million verified users, 7,000 institutions, and 115,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries use Coinbase to easily and securely invest, spend, save, earn and use crypto.

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