Ant Financial Services (AFS), probably best known to you as Alipay, is the financial division of Alibaba. And as we’ve previously reported it’s been touting for investment to expand its services. It apparently wants to bag $10 billion in the next few weeks and as part of that process they are circulating documents with information about membership, predictions and projected revenues. Some of the information appears to have been leaked.
The hope for investment that will value the company at $160 billion and there’s little doubt they’ll find that. And the documents also apparently reveal that the company currently boasts 622 million users, mostly in China, which is much greater than the 520 million noted on its website and more than the 600 million estimated by some pundits.
As one document, according to reports, says: “AFS is a technology disrupter to the financial services industry that has achieved enormous scale in a short period of time.” And that’s no understatement. With such huge numbers of users utilising their various services they represent a formidable challenge to other financial services and traditional banks. AFS not only has significant user numbers in China but also India and other Asian countries.
They reportedly also described themselves in the documents as a:
TechFin conglomerate holding significant equity interests in some of the world’s most promising unicorns to form an ecosystem that is effective on a global scale. Its Indian payments arm, Paytm, has grown in a mere 30 months to become the fourth largest in the world.
Regarding the fund-raising round for Ant Financial, the likes of the Carlyle Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are reportedly lined up as first-time investors. One of the possible investors has said of the prospects:
Ant Financial’s mobile payments network is unique and can’t be found anywhere else globally, it’s quite hard for rivals to replicate them in other countries. Ant is also evolving as a company and its revenue from tech service fees will likely grow much bigger, as it’s opening up its platform to other financial firms such as smaller banks.
– Ben Zhou, managing director at Warburg Pincus