Ant Financial, the monetary companies affiliate linked to Alibaba which operates the Alipay cellular cost service, has confirmed that it has closed a Series C funding spherical that totals an unlimited $14 billion.
The rumors have been flying about this big financing deal for the previous month or so, with multiple publications reporting that Ant — which has been strongly linked with an IPO — was out there to lift no less than $9 billion at a valuation of upwards of $100 billion. That turned out to be simply the tip of the iceberg right here.
The cash comes by way of a tranche of U.S. greenback financing and Chinese RMB from native traders. Those names embrace Singapore-based sovereign funds GIC and Temasek, Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake and General Atlantic.
Ant mentioned that the cash will go in direction of extending its international enlargement (and deepening its presence in non-China markets it has already entered), creating know-how and hiring.
“We are pleased to welcome these investors as partners, who share our vision and mission, to embark on our journey to further promote inclusive finance globally and bring equal opportunities to the world. We are proud of, and inspired by, the transformation we have affected in the lives of ordinary people and small businesses over the past 14 years,” Ant Financial CEO and govt chairman Eric Jing mentioned in an announcement.
Alibaba itself doesn’t spend money on Ant, which it span off shortly earlier than its mega-IPO within the U.S. in 2014, however the company did recently take up an option to own 33 percent of Ant’s shares.
Ant has lengthy been tipped to go public. Back in 2016 when it raised a then blockbuster $4.5 billion — little did we all know it might pull in lots of multiples extra — the corporate has been reportedly contemplating a public itemizing, nevertheless it as an alternative opted to lift new capital at a valuation of $60 billion.
It appears to be like like the identical once more, however with greater stakes. This new Series C spherical pushes that valuation as much as $100 billion, according to Bloomberg. (Ant didn’t touch upon its valuation.) So what has Ant achieved over the previous two years to justify that soar?
It has lengthy been a key fintech firm in China, the place it claims to serve provide 500 million shoppers and affords Alipay, digital banking and funding companies, nevertheless it has begun to copy that enterprise abroad lately. In specific, it has made investments and arrange joint-ventures and new companies in a slew of Asian international locations that embrace India, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The firm was, nonetheless, unsuccessful in its effort to purchase MoneyGram after the U.S. government blocked the $1.2 billion deal.
On the business-side, Ant is said to have posted a $1.4 billion profit during the last yr, suggesting it’s greater than able to make the leap to being a public agency.
Despite that U.S. deal setback, Ant mentioned at the moment that its international footprint extends to 870 million shoppers. I’d take that with a pinch of salt at this level since its enterprise outdoors of China is in its early phases, however there appears little doubt that it’s on the street to replicating its scale in its homeland in lots of components of Asia. Raising this big spherical solely solidifies these plans by offering the sort of capital infusion that tops a lot of the world’s IPOs in a single fell swoop.