Tech financing in China this week – Wang Sicong leads investment in e-sports legend’s company, & more

Check out these headlines for the week: Ant Financial secures USD 4.5 billion; Tencent-backed ticket booking company now valued at USD 2 billion and Suning’s new finance site lands USD 1 billion.

Ant Financial secures USD 4.5 B, likely valued at USD 60 B

Ibo Fung

Alibaba’s financial services platform Ant Financial completed its Series B financing on Tuesday, landing USD 4.5 billion. It is reportedly the largest single round of financing in IT industry history, surpassing financing rounds for Didi Kuaidi, Uber and Facebook.

“We want to ensure an equal opportunity of financial services for all through our technology,” said Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial, in an announcement.

The company may go public in China this year. This USD 4.5 billion in financing has reportedly raised Ant Financial’s valuation to USD 60 billion. If it were to go public it would likely be one of the largest IPOs in China.

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Wang Sicong leads investment in e-sports legend’s company

Danielle Li 

After stumbling around for about two decades, the e-sports industry in China is expecting a boom in 2016, with a billion yuan having been invested into the industry. New e-sports businesses have risen, emerging as chances for former professional players like Sky to extend their influence in exchange for years of playing games as a career.

Li Xiaofeng, better known to his fans as Sky, is a legendary e-sports player in China who founded Taidu, a gaming peripherals R&D and manufacturing company in 2014.

On Monday, Taidu announced that it has completed RMB 50 million in the series A round led by Prometheus Capital, which is owned by Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin.

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Tencent-backed ticket booking company now valued at USD 2 B

Danielle Li 

Online ticket booking platforms are going beyond selling tickets. They are participating in every link of the entertainment industry.

Beijing Weiying Technology, the parent company of an online ticket booking platform WePiao, which is embedded in WeChat, announced on Wednesday that it has completed a Series C+ round of financing, after which its valuation was boosted to USD 2 billion.

The combined total of this round of financing and the company’s Series C round last year is around RMB 4.5 billion (USD 693 million). Zeus Entertainment led this round of financing followed by returning investor, Tencent group, and CMC holdings. 

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Innovation works
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Kai-Fu Lee’s Innovation Works creates culture and sports sub-fund

Eric Sun 

Innovation Works, a venture capital fund founded by Kai-Fu Lee, the former head of Google China and founder of Microsoft Research Asia, announced that it has established a sub-fund named Ruchuan Fund on Monday.

“Our investment in Ma’s startup project has proven to be a success, thanks to Wang’s keen sense and his contacts,” Lee said in a Tuesday report by Chinese business news platform

According to the announcement, Ruchuan Fund is an early stage venture capital fund mainly focusing on culture and sports, with RMB 200 million (USD 30.8 million) in assets under management.

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China’s leading retailer Suning’s new finance site lands USD 1 B

Eric Sun 

Suning Commerce Group, one of the largest retailers in China, has announced that it will reorganize its financial businesses such as third-party payment, crowdfunding, insurance sales, and fund sales into the new Suning Financial platform.

It introduced Suning Jinkong, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suning Commerce Group’s President Zhang Jindong,  and its core employees as new strategic investors on Sunday.

According to the announcement, Suning Jinkong will invest RMB 5.834 billion (USD 900 million) and hold a 35% stake in Suning Financial, while core staff will invest RMB 833 million and hold a 5% stake. Suning Financial will be valued at RMB 16.667 billion after this round of funding. 

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