Alipay’s operator Ant International has gone into “definitive agreements” with investors to protect $14 bln in a Series C value financing round. The cash will be spent to pursue blockchain and technology innovation, as indicated by a company declaration today, June 8th.
Recently valued as high as $150 bln, China’s Ant International intends to put the capital in accelerating Alipay’s blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), security, and Internet of Things (IoT) capacities for its worldwide tech platform, that objectives delivering financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers and little enterprises all around.
The financing round incorporates an RMB tranche raised from local investors, and also a USD tranche rose from more than nine of Ant International’s current universal institutional investors. Major worldwide banks including Deutsche Bank, Citi, China International Capital Corporation, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley went about as financial consultants for the deal.
According to the organization declaration, on March 31, 2018, Alipay, and its other partners, served around 870 mln yearly active clients all around and more than 15 mln independent companies in China.
Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, said that the organization will dedicate the assets to “building an open ecosystem… [and investing] in technology and innovation in order to serve unmet financial needs of people everywhere and to enable them to benefit from the development of the digital economy.”
As early as summer 2016, Ant Financial, introduced blockchain innovation to enhance accountability in its work with the Chinese charity industry, going on to select blockchain specialists in the organization at large the next year.
Last year, CEO Eric Jing said that he unquestionably anticipated that would see blockchain ending up profoundly implemented into Alipay in future, in the long run going about as a base protocol for the overwhelmingly popular mobile payment application.
Ant International has been a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding, whose founder Jack Ma a year ago turned into the richest man in Asia, with his total assets surging to $41.8 bln.
This May, Ma talked at the second World Intelligence Conference in Tianjin, saying he has been investigating blockchain for quite a long time and accepts firmly in the innovation’s wide-ranging potential. Ma, however, held sharp comments for Bitcoin, rejecting the main digital currency as “a bubble.”