China-based financial services provider Ant Group, spun off by e-commerce group Alibaba, intended to float on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets.
That was thrown in doubt by regulatory issues in early November, but the company had intended to issue up to 1.67 billion shares on each exchange, a total of 11% of its enlarged shares. Launched as Ant Financial in 2011, the financial services arm of Alibaba, Ant offers a host of financial products. Its flagship is mobile wallet and payment platform Alipay, which dominates more than half of China’s mobile payment market. Other tools including credit scoring platforms, a money management fund, a digital bank and insurance, wealth management and consumer lending products.
Ant is part of the broader payment tech space which corporate venturers have invested in strongly over the past decade. The number of exits (including IPOs) from this space has been relatively modest even over the last six years. In 2020, the space was given an additional boost by the pandemic and there were 15 transactions, totaling an estimated capital of more than $6.67bn.
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