Ant Financial – Alibaba affiliate has raised approximately $14 billion to accelerate technological innovations. The equity fund targets top technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things and the blockchain technology. The fund was raised in company’s series C round funding.
Ant Financial is a Chinese financial service provider with over 800 million subscribers using its payment services every year. It is also an affiliate of Alibaba, the China-based giant for commercial services. It was founded in 2004 as Alipay and was rebranded later on in 2014 to Ant Financial.
The announcement came just days after a report indicated that the firm is supporting technological services. Thus confirming the company’s commitment to support the development of the technologies as indicated in the report.
Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant Financial dismissed the ICO speculations circulated over the media in March saying that the institution’s prime focus was on cross blockchain compatibility projects.
Mr. Jing added that they will continue to invest in technology to fulfill the unmet financial service inclusions needs. He said that the focus is to build an ecosystem that would enable everyone to benefit from the development of the digital economy anywhere they might be.
Ant Financial has now shifted focus from consumer-related financial services to technology development, but with a keen eye for using innovation in technology to meet the unfulfilled financial needs.
The objective of Ant Financial was to provide consumer financial services. The announcement to focus on technological development is not surprising. This follows a recent crackdown on the risks of the financial system carried out by the Chinese government as reported by Reuters on Tuesday.
Both Ant Financial and Alibaba are not new in the development of blockchain applications. Ant Financial has extended support to blockchain-based charity platform. Alibaba, on the other hand, has tested its flagship project for tracking international shipments on the blockchain.
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