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GIC, Temasek participate in Ant Financial's US$14b Series C funding round

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SINGAPORE'S sovereign wealth investors Temasek Holdings and GIC are part of a group of investors pumping in about US$14 billion in Ant Financial, the Chinese company on Friday said.

The Series C equity financing includes a yuan-denominated tranche raised by Ant Financial from domestic investors, and a US-dollar tranche raised by Ant International, a wholly owned offshore subsidiary of the company, from international investors.

Ant Financial said that the funds raised will be used to accelerate Alipay's globalisation plans and invest in developing technology to further enhance the company's ability to deliver "inclusive financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers and small enterprises globally".

"In addition, the capital will be used to cultivate high-tech talent in emerging markets to help communities take advantage of the opportunities arising from digital transformation."

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Other international investors include Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Warburg Pincus and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, said: "We are pleased to welcome these investors as partners, who share our vision and mission, to embark on our journey to further promote inclusive finance globally and bring equal opportunities to the world. We are proud of, and inspired by, the transformation we have affected in the lives of ordinary people and small businesses over the past 14 years. Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy."

Mr Jing added: "We are dedicated to building an open ecosystem with all our partners in China and beyond. We will continue to invest in technology and innovation in order to serve unmet financial needs of people everywhere and to enable them to benefit from the development of the digital economy."

Ant Financial is also replicating the "Alipay model" by working with local partners in India, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As at the year ended March 31, 2018, Alipay, together with its global partners, has about 870 million annual active users globally and has worked with more than 15 million small businesses in China.

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