Ant Financial announced Friday that it has raised approximately US$14 billion from investors via a Series C equity financing round.
In line with our previous report, this round consists of two tranches, namely an RMB one and a USD one, for domestic and international investors respectively.
While the RMB tranche involves mainly existing investors, the USD tranche is led by new leading global international investors such as GIC, Warburg Pincus, Carlyle, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake, Temasek, RNT Capital, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, General Atlantic and T. Rowe Price Associates’ advised accounts.
The new round of financing has been rumored for a while, and widely tipped as a preamble to the world’s most valuable fintech company’s much-anticipated public offering.
Ant Financial said in a statement that the fresh capital will be used to prop up Alipay’s overseas expansion and invest in developing technologies as the company is expanding its services to Southeast Asian countries where some of the population are unbanked and underbanked.
The raised capital will also speed up its international expansion plans and be used to raise high-tech talents in emerging markets.
Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, said in the statement his company “will continue to invest in technology and innovation in order to serve unmet financial needs of people everywhere.”
Hangzhou-based Ant Financial made recent investments in India’s Paytm and Thailand’s Ascent Money in its push globally.
The rapid rise of Ant Financial’s dominance, moving further into the consumer lending and credit scoring sectors, will inevitably expose the company to compete with established financial institutions.
Domestically, it has also started to face scrutiny from the Chinese financial regulators and has joined the league of ‘’too-big-to-fail’’ financial institutions. Another Chinese internet giant, Tencent that offers WeChat pay could also be another formidable competitor in China’s fintech sector.
This round of financing was also expected to be the last round before its IPO, which was widely rumored to be in both Hong Kong and China, as China is introducing CDR trial rules to appeal to overseas listed companies. However, none of the listing locations was confirmed by the company.