How Ant Financial grew larger than Goldman Sachs
Ant Financial’s latest $14 billion funding round reportedly values the Alibaba affiliate at $150 billion, far more than Goldman Sachs’ $88 billion.
The Chinese financial services company grew out of Alipay, the digital payments system that contributed significantly to Alibaba’s ability to succeed in e-commerce.
Ant Financial’s main businesses today include mobile payments through Alipay, the largest money market fund in the world and loans.
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is now reportedly worth more than Goldman Sachs, thanks largely to dominance in two trends that have swept China: mobile payments and money market funds for consumers.
Ant Financial announced Friday Beijing time that it raised about $14 billion. The funding values the company at around $150 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. Widely followed Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker also listed a market value of $150 billion for Ant Financial in her internet trends report last week, which ranked it as the ninth-largest internet company in the world.
In contrast, publicly traded Goldman Sachs was worth about $88 billion on Friday.
Ant Financial’s road to a $150 billion valuation has been a quick one. The company grew out of Alipay, the digital payments system that launched in 2004 and contributed significantly to Alibaba’s ability to succeed in e-commerce. When Alibaba went public in 2014, it officially launched Ant Financial through a spin-off.
Today, the company operates some of the key financial services businesses in the massive Chinese market. They include:
Alipay — Similar to how PayPal processes payments for eBay, Alipay handles transactions on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce platforms. But Alipay has expanded to supporting mobile payments in stores and restaurants, a trend that has taken off in the last few years and essentially eliminated the need for cash in China.
Published 11:05 AM ET Fri, 8 June 2018
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