Investments

Ant Invests $40M In Indonesia FinTech Akulaku

Ant Financial

Akulaku, a FinTech lending company, has received $40 million in funding from Ant Financial.

The funding gives Akulaku, which does most of its business in Indonesia but recently expanded into Vietnam and the Philippines, a $450 million valuation, according to Deal Street Asia. Just a few days earlier, the outlet cited anonymous sources who said the startup was planning to raise $100 million in a Series D funding round.

Launched in 2016, Akulaku started out with a virtual credit card before developing its own eCommerce platform, boasting 3C products and virtual payment scenarios.

The Jakarta-based company raised $70-million in a Series C round over three months ago, led by Chinese financial technology company FinUp with participation from Sequoia India, Australia’s Blue Sky and Qiming Venture Partners. A Series A round of funding took place in early 2016, raising $5 million led by DCM Ventures, followed by another $30 million from Qiming, Legend Capital, Shunwei Capital, and existing shareholders, including IDG, Arbor Ventures, DCM, Arbor Venture Fund, and Wecapital.

Ant Financial’s investment comes as the company, which is owned by Alibaba and runs AliPay, is poised to expand its business beyond payments.

“Ant Financial, from day one, we are positioned as a tech company. But previously we just wanted to make sure we are really using the tech to be innovative, to create examples, to redefine financial services that people can feel, can touch,” Ant Financial chief executive Eric Jing said back in November.

As a result, Ant has been investing in technologies including blockchain and wants to provide services to the financial services industry. “We want to be a platform … to benefit more people,” Jing said.

But while business has been booming, the company posted a rare earnings pre-tax loss of 2.4 billion yuan ($353 million USD) for the quarter ending Sept. 30. Alibaba blamed it on the cost of capturing growth.

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