Uber has another competitor for the title of most valuable VC-backed company. Chinese fintech platform Ant Financial, which spun out of Alibaba in 2014, has completed a $4.5 billion financing round—the largest private investment ever in a tech company—at a valuation of $60 billion. The round was previously announced as a $3 billion investment earlier this month and brings the company's total funding to $6.4 billion, all raised in the past year.
Ant Financial is about one-third owned by Alibaba and runs Alipay, which operates similar to PayPal (NYSE: PYPL); Yu'e Bao, a consumer-facing money-market fund; online bank MyBank; and Zhao Cai Bao, a lender for small and medium-sized businesses (among other platforms). Together, its businesses have more than 450 million annual active users, and it's estimated that 58% of online transactions in China go through Alipay alone.
While Ant Financial is in safe hands with the deep pockets of Alibaba, the most powerful investors it has are the Chinese government-owned entities, including a subsidiary of China Construction Bank, several of the largest insurance companies and China Investment Corporation, the country's $740 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Ant Financial now owns two of the five largest ever late-stage VC deals, which surprisingly contains no U.S. companies.