Ant Financial raises $14 billion Series C as IPO looms

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Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with investors for its Series C equity financing totaling approximately $14 billion, making a new world record for private fundraising.

Although the company did not disclose the valuation, a previous report from the  Wall Street Journal report suggested that the round could be raised at up to $150 billion mark. The current massive funding sparks more speculation about the company’s much-anticipated IPO.

This financing round includes an RMB tranche raised by Ant Financial mainly from existing domestic investors. A separate USD tranche is raised by its wholly owned offshore subsidiary Ant International from a group of leading global institutional investors such as GIC, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake, Temasek, General Atlantic.

Funds raised will be used to accelerate Alipay’s globalization plans and invest in developing technology. 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 the digital transformation, according to an emailed announcement.

Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, said, “We are pleased to welcome these investors as partners, who share our vision and mission, to embark on our journey to further promote inclusive finance globally and bring equal opportunities to the world. We are proud of, and inspired by, the transformation we have affected in the lives of ordinary people and small businesses over the past 14 years. Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy.”

In addition, will further emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, security, IoT and computing capabilities.

Ant Financial has been pushing its globalization drive mainly through its core service Alipay, which is quickly finding footholds in India, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the year ended March 31, 2018, Alipay, together with its global partners, served approximately 870 million annual active users globally and over 15 million small businesses in China.