On Monday, Ant Financial Services Group, started to seek funds for its planned IPO from investors ahead of its projected schedule. Ant Financial Services Group, is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) “right-hand man” who deals with their finances, who owns and operates an online payment platform; offers mobile payment services; sells insurance products online; provides small loans to the businesses that set up virtual storefronts on Alibaba’s retail websites, noted by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reported that its funding round could reach up to $1.5 billion, which comes just months after Ant Financial’s very first crucial confidential placement that was completed in July. The media had listed the previous round at $4 billion, even though the company itself was calculated to be worth around $45 billion.
“We can confirm Ant Financial Services Group has launched Round B financing, however we are not commenting on market speculations,” said Miranda Shek, a spokeswoman for Ant Financial Services who did not want to address the funding size. “In terms of the IPO, we do not have a timeline for Ant Financial’s IPO.”
“Ant Financial’s second round of fundraising will give the operator of popular Chinese payments platform Alipay more funds to expand and set the stage for an IPO. Bankers expect the Alibaba affiliate could go public in the next two years. The company’s current thinking on a future IPO venue remains unclear. Ant Financial raised more than 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) last year in its first round of fundraising from outside investors including China’s national social security fund and private-equity firm Primavera Capital, led by former Goldman Sachs partner Fred Hu. That round of fundraising gave Ant Financial a valuation in the tens of billions of dollars, people familiar with the situation said at the time,” according to Wall Street Journal.