Ant Financial raises $10bn in funds as valuation climbs to $150bn

29 May 2018

Skyline in Hangzhou, China, where Ant Financial’s head office is located. Image: THINK A/Shutterstock

Ant Financial raises $10bn in funds as its valuation climbs to $150bn.

Back in April, sources said that Chinese giant Ant Financial was aiming to raise billions in a fundraising round, its first since 2016.

The payments company owns Alipay, one of China’s largest payment platforms, and is controlled by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.

According to Reuters, Ant Financial has closed this particular funding round, having successfully raised $10bn from a group of local and global investors. The company’s first fundraising round targeting global money values the firm at $150bn, compared to $60bn after its previous fundraising round in April 2016.

New investors on board

Some investors involved in the latest round include Singapore sovereign fund GIC, state investor Temasek Holdings and US firm Warburg Pincus. Sequoia Capital and private equity firm Carlyle Group were also brought in, along with Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional as a major investor. China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation, and state lender China Construction Bank Corporation are among existing investors.

Will Ant go public?

It is widely understood that Ant Financial intends to go public, although no timetable or specific stock exchange has been made publicly available. The company intends to list in China and Hong Kong in 2019, and investors joining this latest round could expect exit within one to three years.

The four-year-old company was spun out from Alibaba after the latter went public in New York. This latest funding round includes a separate tranche of approximately 7bn yuan in new shares, though this has not yet been finalised, according to multiple sources.

If Ant Financial were to float, its $150bn valuation could make its IPO one of the biggest ever – Facebook’s was $104bn six years ago.

Ant Financial is a dominant payments player in China and has also invested in an array of start-ups, from Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo to Indian payments offering Paytm.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects