Ant Financial, Alibaba’s $60 billion financial services unit, has made a strategic investment in VFinance , according to China Money Network.
Founded in 2013, VFinance was thought up by Yu Qianghua after an unpleasant experience at a bank. As Technode reports, Yu saw how bad the bank’s counter communicated with the staff, so he sought to build “a special financial channel for the most productive people and enterprises.” Eventually, VFinance was born.
The startup now creates payment, clearance, and fundraising systems for companies in the supply chain, logistics, tourism, real estate and retail sectors. One of its products, the VFinance Wallet, allows enterprise customers to transact via third-party payment sevices such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, while another – Unifin – aims to help clients improve their cash management capacity, cashier equipment, and other personalized services.
Aside from receiving funding from Ant, VFinance also announced a deal with MyBank, the online bank launched by Ant Financial back in 2015. As per the agreement, the startup will provide MyBank with “payment clearance, fundraising products and investment solutions” for SMEs.
“With this strategic investment Ant Financial and VFinance will together develop financial inclusion services across industry chains and across financial business cycles,” said Zhu Chao, head of corporate development at Ant Financial.
This isn’t the first time Ant Financial invested in VFinance. The Alipay operator apparently participated in the startup’s Series B last year. Other investors include IDG Capital, which led the company’s Series A, and Yunqi Partners, which joined the firm’s Series A+. All investment amounts however, were undisclosed.
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