China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s affiliate Ant Financial Services Group has closed a $4.5 billion funding round, paving the way for a highly anticipated IPO. According to Reuters, Ant Financial did not disclose what its valuation was after the round closed, but a person familiar with the fundraising said it is now valued at close to $60 billion. Ant Financial is among a series of financial technology companies tapping investors for pre-IPO financing to fund expansion as Chinese consumers move more of their banking, payments and investing online. The Alibaba affiliate’s latest fundraising is the biggest ever for a private Internet company.
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