JD.com’s finance unit has raised $1.96 billion in a new round of funding.
Reuters, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that with the new round, the unit’s valuation has doubled ahead of an expected initial public offering (IPO) – and that the funding underscores how willing investors are to pour money into a Chinese technology company. Reuters noted that more investors could join the round of investing in JD Finance, which could push its valuation even higher.
The investors to take part in the latest fundraising include CICC Capital (a unit of investment bank China International Capital Corp.), brokerage China Securities, private equity firm Citic Capital and BOCGI (Bank of China’s investment arm).
JD Finance said the fundraising round hasn’t closed, but wouldn’t provide more commentary. The report noted that JD Finance is seeking a domestic IPO, but that there is no timetable as to when that may happen. Proceeds from the fundraising will go to invest in local financial institutions and to purchase securities and banking licenses.
In June, Reuters reported that Google, aiming to boost its presence in Asian markets that are seeing fast growth, is investing $550 million in JD.com, the Chinese eCommerce company. Citing the two companies, Reuters reported that the investment is part of a partnership in which Google will promote JD.com products on its shopping service, so that JD.com can expand beyond its two main markets of China and Southeast Asia. Google’s main services are blocked in China because it won’t censor search results, so the deal does not involve Google doing anything new in China.
Google has also invested to get a piece of Go-Jek, the Indonesian ride-hailing company, and sources told Reuters it could also make an investment in Flipkart, the Indian eCommerce company being acquired by Walmart. The $550 million investment in JD.com is coming from the operating unit of Google and not Alphabet’s investment arm. Google gets 27.1 million new JD.com shares, giving it a 1 percent stake in the company.
“This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world,” said Jianwen Liao, JD.com’s chief strategy officer.