Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial has raised $4.5 billion from China Investment Corp Capital, National Social Security Fund, China Development Bank Capital, Primavera Capital Group and CCB Trust, including $1 billion from CIC Capital reports Reuters. It will use the funds for investing in other businesses with the Alibaba Group and in infrastructure like cloud computing and risk control.
450 million active users
Ant Financial will also bring ‘strategic partners’ from China’s financial sector to expand its rural reach and acquire other companies. A year ago, Ant Financial had raised $2 billion, and its Alipay services accounted for 58% of all online payments in China. Alipay was spun off from Alibaba and renamed Ant Financial in 2014. Ant Financial claims to have 450 million active users and is now valued at $60 billion, up from its previous valuation of $45 billion. It has plans for an IPO in China as well as globally, however a timeline for the IPO has not been mentioned.
The company’s previous fundraise was led by China’s national social-security fund, with participation from China Life Insurance and state postal service China Post Group, which also increased their stakes in the current $4.5 billion round. It was split from Alibaba Group before the group’s IPO in September 2014. Both Alibaba and Ant have invested in Chinese food delivery app Ele.me, while Ant Financial has invested in Postal Savings Bank of China. Ant Financial was founded in 2004 and operates Alipay, Yu’e Bao, Sesame Credit and MYbank.
Ant Financial’s investment in Paytm
– In September last year, mobile commerce marketplace and digital wallet Paytm raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial. At that time, the Alibaba Group picked up a 20% stake in Paytm for about $680 million and lowered Ant Financial’s stake to 20%. This was Alibaba’s first investment in the company.
– In February 2015, Ant Financial acquired 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount. A source-based report in January had said then that AliPay (operated by Ant Financial) would invest $575 million for a 30% stake.
In February, Paytm and Alibaba entered into a commercial agreement to allow Paytm to deploy Alipay’s technology via AliCloud. The agreement would allow both firms to integrate their existing platforms to work with each other. Paytm would invest about Rs 120 crore for deployment to allow Alipay’s global customers from China, Japan, US and the UK buy from Paytm’s merchants and Indian Paytm users to buy from merchants listed on Alipay on a commission basis.
Mobile ad network Inmobi partnered with payment companies Stripe, Alipay and Paytm to enable payments over its advertising discovery platform Miip.