China’s biggest online payment platform Ant Financial Services Group which operates the Alipay mobile payment service, in its recent funding, has raised a huge amount of around $14 billion, with the aim to expand its platform across the globe and bring in latest technologies.
Ant Financial which is controlled by Jack Ma is an Alibaba affiliated fintech firm. The investment of the firm is being reviewed as the biggest-ever single fundraising globally by any private sector company. In a statement, Ant Group told that the funding comprised of both U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan tranches, where the dollar share made up over $10 billion and the yuan tranche was mainly contributed by the existing shareholders.
“Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy,” Ant Chief Executive, Eric Jing said.
Many investors from all over the world became a part of this funding round including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, GIC, private equity firm Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad. On the other hand, Ratan Tata is also planning to invest in the Ant Financial Services Group. Ratan Tata founded RNT Capital Advisors will invest about $150 million in the mega financing round of Ant Financial Services.
The company has shown growth in its overseas services massively ahead of the expected IPO, with targeted efforts in India and Southeast Asia. And since then, the company has started diverting its major focus away from payments and consumer finance to technology services.
“China is entering the next phase of its development which will require a more efficient financial services ecosystem. With its technology, Ant is in a position to enable ordinary consumers to find and access financial services they weren’t able to before,” said John Ho, the founder of Hong Kong-based investment firm Janchor Partners that participated in this round.
Earlier Ant was expected to be valued at around $150 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable financial firms. However, at present, it has not disclosed the details of its valuation after the recent funding round. The company aims at reaching 2 billion consumers globally with its payments network in coming years, sponsored by investments and tactical partnerships with Southeast Asian payment firms as well as contracts in South Korea, Japan and India.