The financial services affiliate of Alibaba, Ant Financial, which is the operator of the Alipay payment service for mobile devices, confirmed it ended a new Series C funding phase that totaled $14 billion.
Rumors were swirling about over the huge deals for the last month with several publications reporting Ant, which many say could have an IPO soon, was trying to raise a minimum of $9 billion with a valuation of around $100 billion. However, much more was raised.
The money has arrived from U.S. dollar financing as well as Chinese RMB across several local investors. The names include two sovereign funds based in Singapore Temasek and GIC, Khazanah Nasional Berhad the Malaysian sovereign fund, Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic, Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Ant said the money would be used to continue its global expansion as well as deepen the presence it already has in non-China markets, along with developing new technology and hiring.
The Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Eric Jing through a prepared statement said the company was very pleased to welcome its new investors as its partners who share the same mission and vision, to start Ant’s journey on promoting further inclusive finance worldwide and bring the world equal opportunities.
Alibaba does not invest with Ant, which was spun off just prior to its huge IPO in 2014 in the United States, but did recently exercise an option it had to own 33% of Ant’s outstanding shares.
Ant has been tipped for a long time for an initial public offering. In 2016, when Ant raised $4.5 billion the company had considered going public, but instead opted for raising more capital at a $60 billion valuation.
It appears the same has happened again with the stakes now being much higher. This new round of funding gives Ant a value of at least $100 billion.
In China, Ant has been an important fintech company. There it claims to serve 500 million consumers and has Alipay, investment and digital banking services, but has started to replicate its business the last few years overseas.
It has invested and established joint-ventures as well as new businesses in several countries in Asia including Indian, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
However, it failed in its effort to acquire U.S. based MoneyGram after the government in the U.S. blocked the deal of $1.2 billion.
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