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Alibaba’s fintech arm raises $14-bln in largest-ever single fundraising

Most of the big things happening in the business world in recent times are connected to China in one way or another.  After earning the nickname “the world’s factory,” the Asian giant is currently on its way to become the global leader in financial technology.

The rapid adoption of Internet-based financial services and the huge size of its market have made China a breeding ground for financial technology startups, and the majority of them are focusing the payments segment.

Ant Financial Services Group, China’s largest payments platform and the fintech arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA), has raised a whopping $14 billion to take forward the initiatives to expand its global footprint. It is learned that the dollar share of the funding is above $10 billion. The exercise, believed to be the biggest-ever single fundraising by a private entity, will enhance Ant’s fiscal prowess in the run-up to its much-awaited IPO.

The money will primarily be used for developing infrastructure for financial technology and expediting the global expansion of the company’s popular digital wallet system Alipay. In addition to Alipay, a broad range of other services such as credit services and wealth management services also helped Ant to become the leading player in the sector.

The fundraising will enhance Ant Financial’s fiscal prowess in the run-up to its much-awaited IPO

Ant’s market share growth has been reminiscent of its parent Alibaba’s fast-paced expansion in the international markets in recent years. The program, targeting about 2 billion consumers across the world, includes collaborations with payment firms in Asian countries like South Korea, Japan and India. It will give the company enough teeth to compete with global giants like PayPal.

Ant is all set to go public next year, and its stock is expected to be listed in stock exchanges in Mainland China and Hong Kong. With an expected valuation of about $150 billion, it will find a place among the most valuable companies in the segment. Experts are of the view that the company is in a uniquely advantageous position when it comes to the growth prospects.

Ant in a statement said the lion’s share of the latest investment came from Singapore’s sovereign fund and Warburg Pincus, a US-based private equity firm.

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