Ant Financial announced intentions to raise US$ 9 billion in a private funding round, on April 10, 2018.
Ant Financial—an affiliate of Alibaba—owns one of China’s largest payment platforms called Alipay. Ant could close its funding round at US$ 150 billion, says the Wall Street Journal. Ant Financial would thus, become the most valuable private tech company in the world, after Uber.
The target of US$ 9 billion goes beyond its previous target of US$ 5 billion. Ant Financial last raised money in the form of equity in 2016, when it secured US$ 4 billion
Ant Financial is increasingly expanding outside China and entering into the market in Europe and other parts of Asia. In Europe, it has entered into various agreements with major institutions such as BNP Paribas to help more merchants accept Alipay, mainly for Chinese visitors abroad. For this purpose, the company has been engaged in acquisitions and mergers with other companies.
Ant previously invested in Paytm in India and recently acquired helloPay in Singapore. In the U.S., Ant Financial announced purchase of a cross-border payment service MoneyGram for US$ 1.2 billion, though the deal eventually fell through.