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Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Raises $14 Billion Funding to Accelerate Alipay’s International Expansion

Jun 8, 2018 by A. Alfaro
Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Raises $14 Billion Funding to Accelerate Alipay’s International Expansion

Beijing: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology firm Ant Financial on Friday announced that it raised $14 billion in new funds from domestic and international investors to accelerate its payment platform Alipay.

The funding, largest in the history of Ant Financial, the affiliate of Alibaba Group makes it the world’s largest fintech firm.

Apart from its existing investors, new big capital firms have also decided to strategically invest in Ant Financial. Among them we can find players such as Singapore’s Temasek, Khazanah (Malaysia's sovereign fund), Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake, General Atlantic, Carlyle Group, Janchor Partners among others.

Ant Financial's previous financing rounds took place in July 2015 and in April 2016. According to the company officials, the fresh funding aimed at its global expansion, independent scientific research, recruitment of the best global talent and the strengthening of its financial capability.

“Investors are not only attracted by Alibaba payment platform’s competitiveness and Ant Financial’s financial services, but also by the new development opportunities in China’s New Era (announced recently by President Xi Jinping during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China),” Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial said.

He further added that the company was proud of the assistance they have provided to small businesses and common people for the last 14 years.

“Now, together with our global partners, we want to accelerate our strategy,” he said.

Since 2015, Alipay has followed the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, China’s massive global infrastructure project. It has shared its business experience with partners in countries such as India, South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

According to Alibaba, Alipay and its partners reached more than 800 million users around the world in March this year. Xiandong also mentioned that Ant Financial will keep supporting the development of blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, internet of things (IOT) and cloud computing, to boost the progress of financial services.

According to the information provided by Ant Financial, tech services represented 14% of its income in 2015 and 34% in 2016. The company hopes this figure can reach 65% by the year 2021, surpassing online payments as its main source of income.

As reported to IPRdaily, Ant Financial registered 1161 patents, more than Amazon or Facebook. No other company in the world holds as many blockchain patents as Ant Financial.

According to the Internet Global Trends in 2018 report published by Kleiner Perkins, there are nine Chinese companies among the 20 most valuable tech companies in the world and Ant Financial was ranked 9th. The remaining 11 are American companies.

A. Alfaro

A. Alfaro is a Beijing-based freelance reporter. He focuses on China's politics, culture and society. He can be reached at varofaro@gmail.com. 

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