Morning Brief 7.20.20: Ant unveils IPO plans

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Ant going public

Ant Group, the Alibaba affiliate that operates Alipay, plans to have initial public offerings in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The Chinese company was last valued at $150 billion in a private fundraising round in 2018, and its concurrent IPOs could be the largest in history, The Wall Street Journal reported. The IPOs would help Ant grow China's digital services and help develop Shanghai's STAR market for listing Chinese tech companies, the article states.

Ant has also been expanding beyond China, entering brick-and-mortar stores in North America three years ago and shifting more attention to U.S. e-commerce this year.

Search and shop

Instagram, a unit of Facebook, has redesigned to more closely embed shopping and purchases with a tighter link to Facebook's payments app.

Instagram Shop, a dedicated page under the Explore tab, provides access to curated collections and products from users' favorite brands and creators. The updates allow easier navigation to in-app checkout, reports TechCrunch.

Shop will also support Facebook Pay, which launched in 2019 as part of Facebook's strategy to enable payments for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Instagram Shop will allow consumers to use Facebook Pay to make donations to businesses closed due to the coronavirus.

Investing in change

Investors including Eight Roads and CNP have poured about $40 million into investment and savings app MoneyBox.

The four-year-old Moneybox is a fintech that allows change from card purchases to be funnelled into an investment account. The firm recently surpassed the $1.5 billion milestone and has more than 450,000 users, reports Finextra.

Moneybox plans to use the funds to invest in new technology and hire more staff. It also plans a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.

Inside track

Ridesharing company Grab has updated its app to allow real-time tracking of cash-in and cash-out payments for its digital wallet in the Philippines.

The service uses InstaPay, and is borne out of an aversion to using cash that has accelerated during the coronavirus outbreak.

Like Uber and rival GoJek, Grab has expanded deeper into financial services, taking advantage of its large base of enrolled users to support payments for goods and services that are often connected to ridesharing.

Laundering the laundering

The stolen funds from last week's Twitter attack are reportedly moving to locations that are designed to avoid detection.

About $123,000 was stolen, and some of those funds have reached a Wasabi wallet, reports Coindesk, attributing its reporting to Elliptic, a cryptocurrency tracing company. Wasabi wallets are structured to mix the transaction trail, which makes it harder for law enforcement agencies to monitor than typical cryptocurrency wallets, which perform KYC checks.

The Twitter hack compromised accounts associated with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates and other famous people.

From the Web

Data breach reports down for first half of 2020; other scam, fraud reports on the rise
ABC NEWS | Sun July 19, 2020
According to a new report from the national non-profit “Identity Theft Resource Center”, the number of data breaches has dropped by nearly a third in the first half of 2020.

Stripe wins business following Wirecard's collapse
REUTERS | Fri July 17, 2020
The U.S. payments company Stripe is picking up some former Wirecard customers, an executive told Reuters.

Senator asks Twitter about claim worker was paid to help with hack
REUTERS | Fri July 17, 2020
Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican who closely follows tech issues, pressed Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Friday on whether a company employee had been paid to assist with a hack of high-profile accounts this week aimed at scamming readers.

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