Ant Financial Service Group, an affiliate company specializing in online financial services for the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has closed its Series B funding round at $4.5 billion, the world’s biggest investment in a tech company to date. The funding also makes it one of the most valuable private technology firms in the world.
This funding round was supported by a number of state-backed investment groups, including several national banks and private equity investing units, such as China Investment Corp (CIC), China Life, China Post Group, China Development Bank Capital, Primavera Capital Group and CCB Trust. Although full details of the deal have not been disclosed, Ant Financial’s value is estimated at $60 billion after the funding, surpassing its main competitor PayPal, whose valuation is an estimated $48bn.
Originally known as AliPay, Ant Financial split off from Alibaba before the group’s 2014 IPO and then started out on its own path. Having received unusually high early-stage funding in July 2015, Ant Financial actively expanded its business model from financial services to O2O logistic services forming a joint venture, Koubei, with Alibaba. Up to now, Ant Financial has offered online payment, micro-loan, credit rating (Sesame Credit) and money-market mutual fund Yu’e Bao. Alipay declared the loan service has made more than $70 billion in lendings to millions of SMEs in China.
Photo: © Ant Financial
C. L. & J. Y.