Ant Financial Cashes in on Series C to Push Mobile Payments Technology

June 13, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Ant Financial has long been associated with the Alipay mobile payments system, and it’s also been branching out along several other tracks especially after the recent moves to limit mobile payments exhibited by the Chinese government. In aid of that branching out, Ant Financial recently announced a Series C fundraising effort that brought in some serious cash.

The fundraising effort brought in right around $14 billion for the company, featuring both domestic and foreign investors bringing in tranches in both renminbi and US dollars. The renminbi tranche was geared mainly toward current investors—not surprising given that it’s denominated in Chinese currency and Ant Financial is a Chinese firm—and the USD tranche brought in some heavyweights from around the globe including Warburg Pincus and funds managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, among others.

Ant Financial has plans for every bit of that investment, reports note, particularly stepping up its globalization options and laying fresh investment into new technologies that will hopefully give Ant Financial an edge going forward. Digital transformations—which we’ve already seen starting to take hold—will also get some fresh fodder to go forward.

Ant Financial’s CEO and executive chairman Eric Jing noted “…We are proud of, and inspired by, the transformation we have affected in the lives of ordinary people and small businesses over the past 14 years. Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy.”

Basically, it sounds like Ant Financial’s taking on a big cash load to diversify, which isn’t a bad strategy given recent developments that suggest the Chinese government is starting to be deeply concerned about the mobile payments monster it may have had a hand in creating. So, Ant Financial may be looking to better establish itself outside of China in the event that the government gets a little too concerned and pulls back on the reins, as it already has to a certain extent.

Ant Financial’s first concern must be, as is the case for any corporation, its own survival. It’s made a name for itself offering services to the Chinese traveler, among others, but can it survive without the Chinese market? It may well have to answer that question one day.