Alibaba has got its hands into another investment — and this time it's putting $316 million into a startup that helps Taiwanese entrepreneurs get their business up and running, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Chinese e-commerce leader announced Monday (March 2) that it was banking the money for the venture-capital fund that helps startups outside China's mainland. According to the article, the funds may be being purposed for that specific venture to help attract those Taiwanese and Hong Kong entrepreneurs to become customers of Alibaba's marketplace — sites that small merchants and startup businesses use to sell goods through. By Alibaba investing in the small business owners, they are essentially investing in building its merchants on its own online marketplace. Alibaba has been involved in the Taiwan mobile payments markets for years through its Alipay service, but it recently showed its commitment to the market by saying it would fund Taiwanese mobile-commerce startups.
"Forking out millions of dollars, in the long run, will help speed up Alibaba’s expansion outside the mainland market, as entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Taiwan know better the taste and demands of customers in their own markets," WSJ reporter Aries Poon wrote, later noting that "Alibaba’s business model relies heavily on entrepreneurs who sell products on Alibaba’s shopping sites. Alibaba’s cloud-computing arm, AliCloud, charges businesses that use its data centers and other computing resources."
According to the WSJ report, Alibaba said the $314 million fund will be "overseen by professional investment managers." The fund is expected to be created, following regulatory approval, in the latter half of 2015.