Tencent buys 5% stake in Australian fintech firm Afterpay

FILE PHOTO: People visit Tencent's booth at the World 5G Exhibition in Beijing, China, Nov. 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Chinese gaming and social media group Tencent Holdings has bought a 5% stake in Afterpay Ltd, the Australian buy-now-pay-later firm said on Friday.

Tencent’s shareholding in the Australian firm was worth about A$390 million ($251.55 million), based on Afterpay shares’ closing level on Friday.

The Chinese tech giant, which owns stakes in video game companies Riot Games and Supercell and has exposure to food delivery and e-commerce verticals, said had said earlier this year it would focus more on smart retail and payment platforms in the future.

Its instant messaging platform WeChat also allows users to make payments and book flights and hotels.

“Afterpay’s approach stands out to us not just for its attractive business model characteristics, but also because its service aligns so well with consumer trends,” Tencent Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell said.

Buy-now-pay-later service providers have gained popularity, mainly with millennials, as they allow payment for goods through interest-free installments, helping customers sidestep stringent rules associated with getting a credit card or loan.

Melbourne-based Afterpay has also grown its customer base considerably in the United States, which is proving to be a key market as it taps the influential but largely nascent region.

Tencent’s stake in Afterpay was built from the end of March through April, a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange showed.

Reuters

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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.