Ant Financial Intends to Boost Blockchain Development after its $14 Billion Raise
Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, has confirmed that it has completed a Series C funding round that totals $14 billion USD on Friday. The money comes via both RMB from domestic investors and U.S. dollar from international.
It was reported that besides the existing shareholders, many global institutions also become the new strategic investors that included Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds GIC and Temasek, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Warburg Pincus, Silver Lake Partners and General Atlantic.
“We are glad that both domestic and international investors are not only pleased about the global competitiveness of Ant Financial and Alipay, but have more optimistic perspective in the development opportunities in China in a new era. We will join hands with our strategic partners to share our successful technical experience and mode to further promote inclusive financial globally and bring equal opportunities to the rest of the world,” said Eric Jing, chairman and chief executive of Ant Financial.
In a statement, Ant said it would use the funds to speed up their globalization plans for its Alipay payment platform as well as to invest in developing financial technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing.
According to Retures, Chinese authorities continues their crackdown on financial system with potential risks, Ant Financial is shifting its business focus away from financial service to Fintech development.
Jing further added that “Fintech is the core driving force for the future. We will continue to strengthen our layout in blockchain, AI, security, IOT, and cloud computing. Ant Financial is aiming to boot the development of our financial service business and build an open eco-system. We are looking forward to cooperate with international partners from all around the world to provide a secure, transparent, efficient and inclusive financial services to small and micro businesses world widely.”
In fact, both Ant Financial and Alibaba have already put lots of efforts in blockchain related application development. For instance, Ant Financial has adopted blockchain technology in their charity donations platform, while Alibaba holds the record for the most blockchain patents in the world and has launched a pilot of a blockchain Food Trust Framework.
Although Ant Financial has not disclosed a concrete plan of its blockchain development, the announcement is still notable due to its financial application Alipay is so influential in China, which claims 800 million active users last year.