Ant Financial raises record $14 billion
Written by Peter Walker
Ant Financial has agreed Series C equity financing totalling approximately $14 billion – believed to be the largest single fundraising round in history.
It includes an RMB tranche raised by Ant Financial from domestic investors and a USD tranche raised by Ant International from international investors – which should increase the value of the Chinese group above $100 billion.
Funds raised will be used to accelerate Alipay’s globalisation plans and invest in developing technology to deliver financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers and small enterprises. In addition, the capital will be used to cultivate high-tech talent in emerging markets to help communities take advantage of the opportunities arising from digital transformation, read a statement.
Participants in the RMB tranche are mainly existing shareholders of the company, while those in the USD tranche include Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake, Temasek, General Atlantic, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, The Carlyle Group, Janchor Partners, Discovery Capital Management, Baillie Gifford and Primavera Capital.
Eric Jing, executive chairman and chief executive of Ant Financial, said: “We will continue to invest in technology and innovation in order to serve unmet financial needs of people everywhere and to enable them to benefit from the development of the digital economy.”
Since the launch of Alipay in 2004 and the establishment of Ant Financial in 2014, the company has built an integrated technology platform and an ecosystem of partners. It pledged to continue investing in developing its blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, internet of things and computing capabilities.
Ant Financial is also replicating the ‘Alipay model’ by leveraging its technological know-how and risk management capability to help local partners in India, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the year ended 31 March, Alipay and its global partners served approximately 870 million annual active users globally and over 15 million small businesses in China.