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Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial to take 25% stake in One97 Communication

Ant Financial,
the financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will reportedly
take a 25% stake in India’s One97 Communications, which runs the Paytm online payment
platform. The latter did not disclose how much the stake in One97 is worth.

Ant Financial,
the financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will reportedly
take a 25% stake in India’s One97 Communications, which runs the Paytm online payment
platform. The latter did not disclose how much the stake in One97 is worth.

According to the
TechCrunch report, an Alibaba Group representative said that the investment is
being undertaken by Ant Financial alone and is not related to Alibaba Group.
Ant Financial was spun off from Alibaba Group in 2011.

According to the
report, the deal marks Ant Financial Services’ first investment into an Indian
company. Paytm will use the funds to grow its mobile payment ecosystem and
boost its commerce user base.

Ant, which runs
the Alipay online payment platform, will provide Paytm “with strategic and
technical support for its business”.

“With over one
billion people, India’s payments market has vast untapped potential. As
smartphone use continues to rise in India, we see great opportunity in the
mobile wallet space and Paytm, as a leader in this field, is best equipped to
build a mobile payments ecosystem in the country,” Ant Financial VP Cyril Han
was quoted in TechCrunch as saying.

Recently, Chairman
of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Jack Ma said that hopefully the
company’s financial affiliate would list in Asia at some point, but so far, “no
decision on the timing or location had been made.”

Set up in
2014, Ant Financial has been targeting smaller businesses and hundreds of
millions of consumers who are often under served by China’s larger banks.

As part
of an agreement in August between Alibaba and Ant Financial, Alibaba shares
37.5% of the unit’s profit or can in the future take a direct stake in it.

Ant Financial
has an estimated value of about $50 billion and is planning an initial public
offering next year. 

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