Ant Financial Invests In Chinese FinTech Start-Up VFinance

Ant Financial Services Group, the financial services affiliate of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has made a strategic investment in VFinance, a Shanghai-based start-up providing digital financial infrastructure solutions to enterprises in China.

No financial details were disclosed in a company announcement.

"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.

As part of the investment, VFinance signed a strategic partnership agreement with MYbank, an online bank launched by Ant Financial in 2015, to provide payment clearance, fundraising products and investment solutions to micro and small-sized enterprises.

Founded in 2013, VFinance develops financial infrastructure solutions such as payment and clearance and fundraising systems for companies in the supply chain, logistics, tourism, real estate and retail sectors. Its VFinance Wallet allows enterprise customers to conduct transactions via third-party payment services including WeChat, UnionPay and Alipay.

The company recently launched what it calls UniFin strategy, with the objective of offering financial infrastructure services by integrating industrial ecosystems in different sectors and connecting upstream and downstream companies. It will help companies improve their cash management capacity, cashier equipment and other personalized services, the company said.

VFinance has over 60 customers from more than ten industries, including 30 publicly listed entities in China and overseas. It previously raised an undisclosed amount through a series A+ round from Yunqi Partners and IDG Capital in 2014, after completing a series A round from IDG the year prior, also for an undisclosed amount.

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