The round will mark Ant Financial as one of the most valuable companies in the world, giving it a $150 billion valuation
Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial technology business which runs Alipay — one of the biggest payment services in China, is looking to raise $9 billion ahead of its Initial Public Offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal reported citing unidentified sources. The funding, potentially valuing Ant Financial at about $150 billion, will catapult the company among the most valuable companies in the world, the Journal reported. A $150 billion unicorn will be one of its kind; the next unicorn in the list is Uber, with a $68 billion valuation.
The company last raised $4.5 billion in Series B round of investment from Chinese Investment Corporation. Ant Financial has invested in over 27 companies with 3 acquisitions. The company invested in South Korea’s Kakao Pay last year and acquired Singapore’s Hellopay. It further tried to acquire Moneygram International for $1.2 billion but was blocked by the US authorities citing security concerns. This new valuation could give Jack Ma’s Ant Financial the much required power to compete against Tencent’s WeChat pay and rival payment services in other countries.
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Ant Financial was established as a subsidiary of Alibaba Group but was separated from the entity in 2011 due to government regulations in China. This further caused tension with Yahoo, who was a shareholder in Alipay. Even though the issue was resolved later, experts believe Yahoo suffered massive losses.
Alibaba, in February, announced that the company has finally changed its profit relationship with Ant Financial. In its quarterly report, it stated that the original arrangement between them involved a 37.5 percent share from Ant Financial’s pretax profit and 2.5 percent of the value of its outstanding loans yearly. The new change will give Jack Ma’s Alibaba 33 percent direct stake in the company and this will go in exchange for intellectual property rights related to Ant Financial.