China: Jack Ma-controlled Ant Financial raises fundraising target to $3.1b

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, speaking at the UN. Credit: Flickr/UN Women

Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., controlled by Alibaba‘s founder Jack Ma, is raising RMB20 million ($3.1 billion) at a valuation of $60 billion.

The amount of funding is higher than previously reported, said the China Money Network. The valuation is also higher, compared with $50 billion in March.

Powerful state-backed investors such as China Investment Corp., the country’s sovereign wealth fund, and an investment vehicle of China Construction Bank Corp., are leading the latest round.

Ant Financial’s earlier target was $1.5 billion for this second round of financing before a potential initial public offering. But the company raised its target after it saw higher demand from investors.

Ant Financial runs Alipay, China’s biggest online payment service, and controls Yu’e Bao, China’s largest money-market fund with more than RMB600 billion of assets. Taken together, the services have more than 400 million annual active users. The company’s micro lending business handled about 30 billion yuan of loans in January.

Ant Financial had raised more than 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in July 2015, from National Social Security Fund, among other investors. That round, in which the company sold 12.4 per cent stake, had valued the company at $45 billion.

China’s four biggest insurance companies—China Pacific Insurance Group, People’s Insurance Company of China, China Life Insurance Co. and New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.—also participated in the round.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and China International Capital Corp are advising Ant Financial on the fundraise.

Also read:

Alibaba’s Ant Financial could be valued at nearly $50b

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial in talks to invest in Chinese business magazine Caixin 

Alibaba to pay $1.25b for controlling stake in Ele.me, deal values Chinese food startup at $4.5b

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.