Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate is planning to close its second round of fundraising around mid-April and is seeking a valuation of about $60 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.
Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire Chairman Jack Ma, has attracted CCB International Holdings Ltd. as a potential investor, although the bank still needs regulatory approval, the person said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private.
Ant Financial, as the owner of Alipay is known, was said to be seeking to raise at least 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in a second round of financing ahead of potential initial public offering, a person familiar said in January. Challenging bricks-and-mortar banks, the Internet-based Ant Financial runs China’s biggest online payment service, Alipay, and controls the company which manages Yu’E Bao, the nation’s largest money-market fund.
Ant Financial declined to comment in an e-mailed statement. Li Zhengyang, a spokesman for CCB International, declined to comment on investments.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Monday that Ant Financial was seeking to raise as much as $3.1 billion at a $50 billion valuation.
Prior to Alibaba’s record $25 billion IPO in September 2014, the companies struck a deal which locked in Alibaba’s share of the finance affiliate’s pretax earnings and set terms for Alibaba’s entitlements if Alipay or its parent hold an IPO.