Cofounder and Partner, SparkLabs Global Ventures
In July this year, executive chairman of Ant Group Eric Jing set in motion something financial markets had been waiting for: a concurrent IPO on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
The anticipation has been understandable. Ant Financial is the world’s most valuable Fintech company and is said to be targeting a $200 billion valuation upon listing.
Ant Group, part of the vast Alibaba online empire, grew out of Alipay, the firm’s digital wallet service. Alipay became Ant Financial in 2014 and was renamed as Ant Group earlier this year.
Jing has been with the company from the beginning. Joining Alibaba in 2007, he was made CFO of Alipay in 2009 and was COO of Ant Financial at launch. His pre-Alibaba career included senior financial management positions in both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
Although Ant Group has built its revenues on financial products, the recent name change was introduced by Jing in part to reflect a shift in direction.
Almost half Ant Group’s revenues in 2019 came from the technological infrastructure it provides to enterprise clients, an area which looks set to grow. The company’s latest innovation is the AntChain initiative, a blockchain solution based on the company’s own blockchain technology, which was announced earlier this year.