Thursday, April 18

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to Raise $9B Ahead of IPO, Become World’s Biggest Unicorn

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s financial firm is all set to make it to the world’s biggest companies. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s derivate company, Ants Financial Group is preparing to raise $9 billion which is much above its expected IPO in a private funding round as per the sources.

Being no stranger to funding, the company picked $4.5 billion Series B round in April 2016. Moreover, it has also made in some strategic acquisitions and investments to pave a way for greater financial benefits for itself.

It has already acquired HelloPay and has made investments into Korea’s Kakao Pay in February 2017. Company’s recent attempt to acquire Moneygram early this year was knocked down by U.S government over security concerns.It’s expected IPO valuation and newly earned revenue can give a much-needed push making it stand out from the competition with Tencent’s WeChat pay in China.

This private funding round can take up company’s valuation approximately to $150 billion, making it world’s most sought unicorn much ahead of the U.S most acclaimed firms such as Paypal Holdings Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc and BlackRock Inc.

Back in 2004, Alibaba’s had raised $25 billion in its own IPO at the New York Stock Exchange.

Ant and Alipay: When did One Begin and the Other End?

Ant was created in 2011 from Alibaba’s Group due to Chinese government regulations around financial transactions as reported by founder, Jack Ma. This split had also resulted in tensions with Yahoo, Alibaba’s prominent shareholder which were later settled.

However, a declaration in February from Alibaba spokesperson revealed company’s newly set profit relationship with Ant Financial. While Alibaba’s old deal had involved a stake in 37.5 percent of Ant’s financial profit and a 2.5 percent share in its outstanding loans, the new arrangement has entitled Alibaba a direct 33 percent stake in the company.