Exciting articles several times a month
1 September 2017
Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is expanding its global platform at an astonishing pace. Chinese largest Internet financial-services provider is making mighty strides abroad by forging partnerships in Asia, Europe and the U.S. in a bid to connect its payment service, Alipay, with more customers and merchants globally.
The company is planning to raise about $3 billion through debt financing to fund its ambitious global expansion plans, according to media reports. Can the company implement such audacious, ambitious plans? Time will tell on that. In this article, we briefly summarize the key moments and events in the history of Ant Financial that contributed to its global spread, gradually increasing its turnover and consolidating its dominant position in the world market.
In April this year Ant Financial acquired Singapore-based payment service helloPay Group in order to boost its Alipay brand and presence in the region. That being said, helloPay (a payment subsidiary of Lazada, which was acquired by Alibaba for $1 billion last year) will be re-branded as Alipay in relevant markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. However, Ant Financial did not disclose financial terms of the helloPay deal.
At the beginning of this year, Ant Financial finally won its battle with Euronet to acquire MoneyGram, the U.S.-based cross-border payments service, after it increased its bid to $1.2 billion. Building an offline financial services network makes sense, because it allows Ant Financial to serve more users outside of China. MoneyGram would let the company offer more money transfers in U.S., China, India, Mexico and the Philippines.
In September 2016, Ant Financial acquired EyeVerify in order to expand services using the U.S. startup’s biometric authentication technology for securing consumers’ online data and transactions. Payment details of the deal were private. Ant Financial’s immediate priority in the U.S. is to win acceptance from American merchants so that Chinese consumers can use Alipay wherever they travel.
As for short-term plans, Ant Financial is going to enter a joint venture with media company Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) to launch a new mobile payment platform in Indonesia.
Investments and shareholding
Ant Financial is seeking global domination. The company has an open stated intention to reach two billion users by 2025. The way in which it will achieve this is through local and international partnerships, and many of these have been started already:
|April, 2017||Ofo (the Chinese bike sharing company)||undisclosed amount / Undisclosed (Lead)|
|March, 2017||Youon Bike (the Chinese bike sharing company)||undisclosed amount / Series A (Lead)|
|February, 2017||Kakao Pay (the Korean payment system)||$200 million / Private Equity (Lead)|
|February, 2017||Mynt (a digital payments and lending platform operated by Globe Telecom in the Philippines)||undisclosed amount / Undisclosed (Lead)|
|November, 2016||Ascend Money (Thailand-based e-payments provider)||undisclosed amount / Undisclosed (Lead)|
|November, 2016||Souche (Hangzhou car transaction service firm)||$100 million / Series C (Lead)|
|September, 2016||Yum! China (the Chinese leading restaurant company)||$460 million / Private Equity|
|June, 2016||Didi Chuxing (the Chinese ride-sharing services firm)||$4.5 billion / Undisclosed|
|June, 2016||Shanghai Suntime Information Technology (a financial data provider)||$35 million / Venture (Lead)|
|May, 2016||Taobao Movie (an online ticketing platform)||¥1.7 billion / Series A (Lead)|
|April, 2016||Ele.me (one of China’s leading food delivery startups)||$1.25 billion / Undisclosed|
|October, 2015||36Kr (a technology media platform and startup services provider)||undisclosed amount / Series D (Lead)|
|September, 2015||One97 Communications (an Indian leading mobile-Internet company)||$680 million / Undisclosed|
|August, 2015||Qudian (the Chinese electronics retailer)||$200 million / Series E (Lead)|
|June, 2015||Koubei (the Chinese services startup focusing at first on food delivery)||$966 million / Undisclosed (Lead)|
|February, 2015||One97 Communications (an Indian leading mobile-Internet company)||$200 million / Undisclosed (Lead)|
|November, 2014||V-Key (a software-based digital security solutions provider headquartered in Singapore)||$12 million / Series B|
While promoting digital financial inclusion and green finance, Ant Financial aims to provide financial services to over two billion users in ten years. To achieve that, it is building an open ecosystem with its global partners. If that was not enough, Ant Financial is also investing in and applying advanced technology such as big data, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, blockchain, and intelligent risk control to solidify its core products. Overall, Ant Financial is steadily moving towards becoming a global company.
Exciting articles several times a month