26 April 2016, Shanghai :
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s finance affiliate has raised a record $4.5 billion from a consortium of powerful state-backed investors to bankroll its global expansion.
Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation together with China Construction Bank led the round. They were joined by existing Ant Financial shareholders which include China Life; China Post Group, the parent company of Postal Savings Bank of China; China Development Bank Capital and Primavera Capital Group.
The round makes Ant Financial the second-most valuable private technology firm behind U.S. ride hailing app Uber, which is worth over $62 billion, and ahead of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which has a valuation of $45 billion.
“The capital raised in series B will allow us to invest in the infrastructure, such as cloud computing and risk control, that will underpin our long-term growth in rural and international markets,” Eric Jing, president of Ant Financial, said in the statement.
Ant Financial — set up in 2014 to consolidate Alibaba’s finance-related businesses into a single entity — includes online payments arm Alipay, which is estimated to hold 80% of the sector in China.
It also includes an investment platform and an online bank, which aims to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, a key theme for Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
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