SHANGHAI/BEIJING- On Friday, Operator of China’s biggest online payment platform, Ant Financial Services Group, said that it had raised approx. $14 billion from Singapore’s sovereign fund including investors and U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC [WP.UL].
The capital-raising should boost the firm’s financial firepower ahead of a widely expected initial public offering (IPO), although Ant has never publicly set a timetable nor have chosen a likely stock exchange.
In a statement, Ant has listed Singaporean sovereign fund GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL] and state investor Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd [TEM.UL] as its participants in the financing round.
Ant never disclosed the details of the firm’s valuation following the round, but Reuters reported earlier that the value is expected to around $150 billion, making it one of the most valuable financial companies in the world.
The funding includes both U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan tranches, with the dollar, share widely expected to make up the majority.
Ant said that the funds would be used to set of globalization plans for its Alipay payment platform and to invest in a developing technology. “Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy”, he added.
The company expanded its overseas services smoothly ahead of the expected IPO, along with targeted efforts in Southeast Asia and India. It has begun its shift efforts away from consumer finance for focusing on technology services, Ant, spun off from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) before the e-commerce firm’s 2014 public listing, provides a range of financial services including payment and credit services, wealth management products and micro-loans.