The People’s Bank of China has recently launched a trial version of their digital currency which they hope will reduce...
Bloomberg reports on the possibility of ride-sharing companies getting into financial services; Grab is a leading ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia; app users can now start sending credits which are used to pay for rides to other users; by the end of 2017 credits will be able to be used at 1,000 restaurants and retailers, turning Grab into much more of an e-payment platform than just a taxi service; in Indonesia, the 200,000 drivers of Go-Jek can use e-wallets to store their earnings and also spend funds on a variety of services; article also shares innovation in Kenya with M-Pesa as well as China's Alibaba and WeChat. Source
CB Insights outlines five tech giants' notable investments, partnerships and M&A moves in the Southeast Asia region; the five tech giants included in the article are Alibaba, Ant Financial, Tencent, Didi Chuxing and JD.com; the article highlights Ant Financial's investments in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia, as well as its strategic partnerships throughout Southeast Asia. Source
Koubei was founded in 2015 with investment from Alibaba and Ant Financial; the firm offers online e-commerce services for merchants and is part of a diversified group of Alibaba affiliates; in January the firm reported new capital of $1.1 billion from external investors; investors now supporting the firm include Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital and Primavera Capital. Source
Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, has announced it will be expanding its cloud business by opening four new data centers; the new data centers will be opened in the Middle East (Dubai), Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2016; the new data centers will expand Alibaba Cloud's data center network to 14 locations; Alibaba Cloud's services include platform development, data management, data storage, data analytics and cloud security. Source
In this conversation, Max Friedrich of ARK Invest, Will and Lex break down Ant Group’s highly anticipated IPO.
Ant, a spinout from Alibaba and the parent of Alipay, one of China’s leading payments companies, filed papers to IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Max, Will and Lex dig into Ant’s business, from the origins to today, discuss growth opportunities and potential headwinds and explore the multi-faceted relationships between Ant and other big tech companies and national governments.
We cannot understate how impressive Ant Financial has become, connecting 700 million people and 80 million merchants in China, with payments, savings, wealth management and insurance products integrated in one package. The company also highlights the likely road for traditional banks — as underlying risk capital, without much technology or client management.
Chinadigital lendingeCommerceMetaverse / xRneobanksmall businessSocial / Communitysuper appsupply chain / trade·
This week, we cover these ideas:
Klarna’s $640 million raise and its $45 billion valuation, and how its business model arbitrages the payments revenue pool to build a lending business
Pinduoduo’s growth path to a $150B marketcap, and the links between shopping, media, and financial mechanisms that help it compete with Alibaba
A comparison of approaches to growth and economics
Implications for crypto assets for capturing “the real economy”
Klarna is raising $640 million on a $45 billion private valuation, with over $1 billion in net operating income. The buy-now-pay-later company has over 90 million active customers and 250,000 merchants. It was founded in Sweden in 2005.
On the other side of the ocean, Chinese ecommerce company Pinduoduo is beating Alibaba with 820 million active buyers, generates over $3 billion in revenue per quarter, connects buyers to 12 million farmers, and has a market capitalization of $150 billion. It was founded in China in 2015.
Alibaba spin-off Ant Financial and non profit online lender QCash won the second annual FT fintech awards; they were selected from a group of over 200 companies in the fintech space and the winners were announced at the FT Banking Summit; both companies were rewarded for innovation and providing increased access to financial services. Source.
At a financial forum in Shanghai, Jack Ma of Alibaba expressed his support for fintech innovation in digital banking that could further help China's inclusive finance efforts; the holding company founder's comments were centered around the capabilities of its affiliate Ant Financial, which offers a range of digital banking services; Jack Ma said capabilities from the platform could help other fintech firms to increase their financial inclusion business efforts; "We would like to entirely share with partners our capability of data collection and data processing to jointly develop the inclusive financial system," said Jack Ma; as a proponent for financial inclusion and fintech industry growth Jack Ma also said Ant Financial was a leading fintech market platform capable of partnering with other fintech companies for overall industry expansion. Source
The main driver of today's entry is the news -- which has largely percolated -- that ConsenSys acquired Quorum from J.P. Morgan, as well as received an investment from the bank in the company. There is a lot of jargon in the blockchain industry, and I want to try to pull this news apart to explain why it is interesting both to incumbent financial services players, as well as meaningful to the developing decentralized finance industry.