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Alibaba Affiliate Ant Financial Raises Record Breaking $4.5B Funding Round At Around $60B Valuation

Ant Financial is not the only payments company raising large amount of funding. The finance unit of rival JD.com - JD Finance - raised $1.02 billion funding round in January, valuing it at $7.2 billion. Another Chinese company, Meituan-Dianping, an online seller of movie tickets and restaurant bookings, has also secured $3.3 billion in January.

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Ant Financial, the online financial affiliate of Chinese eCommerce firm Alibaba, has raised record breaking $4.5 billion funding round at a valuation of around $60 billion. The round was led by Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation together with China Construction Bank. Existing shareholders such as China Life; China Post Group, the parent company of Postal Savings Bank of China; China Development Bank Capital and Primavera Capital Group also contributed to the Series B funding.

The round makes Ant Financial the second-most valuable private technology firm behind U.S. ride hailing app Uber, which has a valuation of over $62 billion, and ahead of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, which is worth around $45 billion.

As per CNBC report, the raised funding would be used to invest in infrastructure such as cloud computing and biometric verification technologies in order to drive growth internationally and in rural areas of China.

Ant Financial was split off from Alibaba before it went public in 2014, runs China's biggest payments service Alipay as well as also operates online money-market fund Yu'e Bao, banking service MYbank and a lending platform called Ant Micro Loan.

Alipay boasts a total of 450 million active users and processes 170 million transactions per day.

While focused on China, Ant Financial and Alibaba has also expanded overseas as well, invested in Indian mobile payments app, Paytm, which claims to have over 120 million users.

Sabrina Peng, president of Alipay International, said, “the firm is actively looking for more partners in Asia as it looks to go deeper into the region. The fresh funds should give Ant Financial the firepower to continue investing in firms.”

Ant Financial is not the only payments company raising large amount of funding. The finance unit of rival JD.com - JD Finance - raised $1.02 billion funding round in January, valuing it at $7.2 billion. Another Chinese company, Meituan-Dianping, an online seller of movie tickets and restaurant bookings, has also secured $3.3 billion in January.



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