Ant Financial, the fintech subsidiary of Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, said that part of the record $14 billion it raised from investors will be used to boost blockchain development among other technology initiatives.
In a press release published last Friday, Ant Financial announced that it had received “definitive agreements” with its investors for investments totaling $14 billion in Series C round. Ant Financial owns and operates the online and mobile payment service Alipay. By securing one of the biggest capital raises on record, the Chinese giant is now valued at around $150 billion.
The company plans to use the funds, in part to advance Alipay’s technology as well as for speeding up the application’s globalization efforts and for blockchain development. In its statement, Ant Financial reiterated it would continue working on building blockchain solutions, saying:
“The Company will continue to invest in developing its blockchain, AI, security, IoT, and computing capabilities to upgrade its global technology platform for the next generation”.
The funding came from domestic and foreign investors, several of whom are existing investors of the company.
It is worth noting that Alipay, which rivals PayPal in terms of online and mobile payments, is developing a solution that is capable of offering financial services to small enterprises as well as customers who don’t have access to, or have limited access to banks. Ant Financial is focused on using this technology to offer better services to its customers. Last year, the company acquired U.S remittance company MoneyGram International for $1.2 billion. Ant Financial reportedly serves over 850 million annual active users globally and more than 15 million businesses in China.
This is not the first time the Jack Ma’s company is getting involved with blockchain innovation. Alibaba and its subsidiaries have been quite active in the last two years as they hired blockchain experts, received over 40 blockchain patents, and are running several blockchain pilot projects in real estate and supply chain.