Alibaba isn’t the only e-commerce service in China with a financial services arm capable of raising large amounts of external funding. While Alibaba’s Ant Financial raised an undisclosed round last summer at a colossal $45-$50 billion valuation, its rival e-commerce giant JD.com’s money-focused unit is also in the money after it took in RMB 6.65 billion (around $1.01 billion) from a clutch of high-profile investors.
Sequoia Capital China, China Harvest Investments and China Taiping Insurance led the round, which included other undisclosed financiers and values JD Finance at RMB 46.65 billion (approximately $7.1 billion) post-money. That’s not as high as Ant Financial, which includes hugely popular payment service Alipay among its business interests, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
JD.com itself is listed on the NASDAQ. Its operational reach covers seven and 196 warehouses across 46 cities. JD Finance provides a range of financial services and products to consumers, startups, SMEs and other businesses in China. Last year, it partnered with U.S.-based ZestFinance to create a joint-venture that offers credit services in China, and this new funding will be used to further expand its scope of financial offerings for customers.
“JD Finance has become a leading industry player by leveraging JD.com’s e-commerce expertise and advantages in big data and technology to provide financial solutions to Chinese consumers, innovative start-ups and traditional enterprises,” Richard Liu, CEO of JD.com, said in a statement. “By partnering with top financial and start-up service institutions, we will be even better positioned to create China’s leading financial technology ecosystem.”
China’s big three Internet companies — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) — all offer financial and banking services in the country, so there’s plenty of competition as China’s online financial revolution continues to gain momentum.