Ant Financial Services Group, the financial affiliate of e-commerce titan Alibaba, announced today the completion of a US$4.5 billion series B financing. The funding size is astounding, as the company claims it to be the largest-ever individual private tech investment globally.
Unsurprisingly, the investor list is long and consists of big names, including consortiums led by China Investment Corp Capital and CCB Trust, a subsidiary of China Construction Bank, along with existing Series A shareholders including China Life, China Post Group, the parent company of the Postal Savings Bank of China, China Development Bank Capital and Primavera Capital Group.
The company secured an undisclosed amount of Series A financing in July last year at a value reportedly over $45 billion USD. Following the latest round the valuation is expected to surpass US$60 billion.
Ant Financial has grown from their core service, Alipay, and spun out from parent Alibaba in 2011 before its blockbuster U.S. IPO. With an active annual user base of 450 million, it provides payment services for e-commerce marketplaces. Those services covers a wide range from wealth management and insurance to micro loans for small and micro enterprises as well as financing for individual consumers.
This new round of funding will support Ant Financial in its goal to expand access to financial services in China’s rural areas, while also fuelling the company’s globalization, according to the company.
The company’s strategic partnership with China Investment Corp Capital will support their continued push into international markets.
In India, Ant Financial has joined forces with One97 Communications, which oversees Paytm, the country’s largest mobile wallet provider, to fund payment services in the under-services Indian e-commerce market.
As of the end of March 2016, MYbank, established by Ant Financial in June 2015, and Ant Micro Loan have collectively provided micro loans to over 20 million small and micro businesses and individual entrepreneurs, according to the company.
“The capital raised in Series B will allow us to invest in the infrastructure, such as cloud computing and risk control, that will underpin our long-term growth in rural and international markets,” said Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial.