Ant Financial to raise $1 billion fund for Southeast Asian and India start-ups
Ant Financial, affiliate of Chinese Alibaba Group, is set to raise $1 billion for an investment fund dedicated to Southeast Asian and Indian start-ups which sit in the payments and online finance industries, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
In a Beijing conference on Wednesday Ji Gang, vice president of Ant Financial, said the company was set to raise a fund but didn’t specify its size.
The $150 billion company already has an investment history in India. In 2015, Ant Financial became a backer of Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications, buying a 25% stake in the Indian fintech. Then last month the online payment services provider took part in Paytm’s $1 billion funding round.
Foodtech company Zomato, based in Indian city Gurgaon, also saw Ant Financial lead its $600 million funding round.
Read more: China’s Ant Financial is actively looking for Singapore banking licence
At the 2019 Global Young Entrepreneurs Conference in Beijing, Gang said Ant Financial’s five-year-old investment department has invested in more than 160 startup companies.
But now “the frequency of shots […] is accelerating”, seeing more than 100 of these investments take place just in the last to years according to Gang.
Ant Financial’s vice president calls the much-anticipated “cold winter” which hangs over China and its market slump a “new starting point”.
“The cold winter is not necessarily a bad thing, […] [it] will eliminate unqualified investment entrepreneurs,” says Gang.