2-9-18 4:48 PM EST | Email Article

China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), is looking to raise up to $5 billion, which could value the company north of $100 billion, Reuters reported.

What You Need To Know

Ant Financial runs Alipay, the world's largest online payments platform, and Yu'e Bao, the world's largest money-market fund. The company's last round of financing took place in 2016 when it was valued at $60 billion, but the newest round of financing would value Ant Financial at a minimum of $80 billion, Reuters said.

The financing round will be launched in the next few months and could be seen as a "pre-IPO fundraising," Reuters' sources said. Doing so would be consistent with heavily sought-after China-based companies that are looking to establish valuation and widen the investor base before an IPO.

Why It's Important

The overall Chinese e-commerce market is growing and Ant's market share is high, Hao Hong, head of research at brokerage BOCOM International, told Reuters. "So, even at a time like this, if Ant were to target $5 billion, that will not be a problem."

What's Next?

For the time being there are no concrete IPO plans on the table for Ant Financial, including a location. It 's unclear what Ant Financial intends to do with the capital it raises from investors.

Related Links:

Mobile Payments To Increase Tenfold By 2021; Who Benefits?

Which Is More Valuable: Goldman Sachs Or China's Ant Financial? The Answer May Surprise You

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