Ant Financial invests in Shanghai-based fintech startup VFinance

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Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Alibaba, has made a strategic investment in VFinance (维金), a Shanghai-based startup providing digital financial infrastructure solutions to enterprises in China, according to VFinance’s announcement.

At a press conference on July 18th, VFinance also signed strategic cooperation with MyBank (网商银行), an online bank launched by Ant Financial in 2015. The cooperation includes payment and settlement, financing financial products, industry investment and financing solutions, technical personnel team structures to help SMEs who struggle to fit into the financial bracket for loans and services.

The creation of VFinance originated from founder Yu Qianghua’s personal experience in a bank. The communication process at the bank counter and with the staff was not so pleasant. He realized that there needs to be a special financial channel for the most productive people and enterprises, and founded VFinance. Its VFinance Wallet allows enterprise customers to conduct transactions via third-party payment services including WeChat, UnionPay, and Alipay.

Mr. Yu and his core team have more than 10 years of industry-wide R&D and operational experience. For more than three years, VFinance has served more than 60 customers, including Huochebang (货车帮, truck helper) who provides cargo sharing platform, tourism company 8trip (八爪鱼在线旅游, Octopus’s online trip) and Souche (大搜车, search car) who provides second hand car trading platform, and other companies in real estate, home improvement, retail, and electricity sector.

Founded in 2013, VFinace pocketed Series A financing from IDG Partners in 2014, followed by IDG  and  Yunqi Partner’s injection to Series A+ of financing. At the end of 2016, the company received series B financing from Ant Financial.