Ant Financial to raise $5 billion in equity

An employee scans a quick response (QR) code displayed on the Ant Financial Services Group's Alipay app, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding.

Anthony Kwan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An employee scans a quick response (QR) code displayed on the Ant Financial Services Group’s Alipay app, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding.

A fundraising could bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group will be taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering by establishing a more current valuation.

Ant’s last fundraising in 2016 valued the owner of Alipay, China’s top online payment platform, at about $60 billion. The brand new round should start which has a valuation of between $80 billion to $100 billion, the people said. Ant will be currently in talks to appoint advisers for the fundraising which will be supposed to be launched within the next couple of months, they added.

Ant declined to comment on its fundraising plans. All the people spoke to Reuters on the condition they not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

While no timetable for an IPO has been set, nor any location yet chosen, Ant’s plans are being viewed as a pre-IPO fundraising, the people said. A pre-IPO round will be an increasingly common move by sought-after Chinese companies to establish valuations as well as widen their investor base ahead of going public.

which was not immediately clear how the company plans to use the fresh cash.

The exact timing as well as size of the fundraising still depends on investor feedback however any deal will add to an already hectic pace of domestic as well as offshore fundraising by Chinese tech firms which are looking to expand both at home as well as abroad.

Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com will be raising funds for its logistics unit which has a target of attracting at least $2 billion, while live-video streaming start-up Kuaishou will be nearing the close of a $1 billion funding round, sources have said.

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