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Alibaba’s Finance Seek at Least $1.5 Billion

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate is seeking at least 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in a second round of fundraising ahead of a planned initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.

Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire chairman Jack Ma, plans to issue stock to existing and new investors, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The firm, known as Ant Financial, is speaking to potential investors including insurers and other financial institutions, as well as private equity funds and venture capital firms, the person said.

Challenging bricks-and-mortar banks, the Internet-based Ant Financial runs China’s biggest online payment service, Alipay, and controls the company which manages Yu’E Bao, the nation’s largest money-market fund with more than 600 billion yuan of assets. It also holds a stake in MYBank, a private online lender.

Ant Financial was valued at about $45 billion after completing an initial round of fundraising in June 2015, the person said. The company may sell shares in an IPO as early as this year and hasn’t decided yet whether to conduct a third round of financing ahead of that, according to the person.

Potential Acquisitions

Ant Financial may use money from the current fundraising for acquisitions, the person said, without identifying potential targets. Ant Financial has already invested in companies including India’s One97 Communications Ltd. and Postal Savings Bank of China.

Miranda Shek, a Hangzhou-based spokeswoman for Ant Financial, confirmed a second round of funding while declining to comment on the amount sought or other details.

Prior to Alibaba’s record $25 billion IPO in September 2014, the companies struck a deal which locked in Alibaba’s share of the finance affiliate’s pretax earnings and set terms for Alibaba’s entitlements if Alipay or its parent hold an IPO.

In Ant Financial’s initial fundraising round, the company sold a 12.4 percent stake to outside investors including China’s national social security fund and China Development Bank Capital Co.

Bloomberg

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector

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$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.

A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.

The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.

In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.

Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.

“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.

“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”

Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.

He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.

This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.

Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.

“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).

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Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019

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Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019

Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.

“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.

“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.

“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.

“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.

However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.

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Fintech Companies Raised $554 Million in Investment Last Week

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Financial Technology Firms Raised $554 Million Investment Capital Last Week

Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised a combined $554.17 million from investment rounds last week.

A data compiled by Finbold showed the top 25 fintech firms were led by Razorpay and Wealthsimple.

Razorpay, a payment platform, raised $100 million to account for 18.04 percent of the total amount raised during the week. This was followed by Wealthsimple’s $87 million.

Deepwatch came third with $53 million while NYDIG and M1 Finance came fourth and fifth with $50 million and $45 million, respectively.

Other noteable fintechs include Extend $40 million; FOSSA $30.55 million; +Simple $23.75 million; Finexio $23 million; and Sonrai Security $20 million.

On the other hand, Evolve Credit was the last among the 25 companies. It raised $0.025 million while Upside Saving raised the second least fund at $0.42 million. Also, they were the two firms that raised below $1 million in the week under review.

Oliver Scott, a Finbold editor, who spoke on funding in the fintech sector, said “Notably, venture capital is still the primary source of funding for fintech startups. However, new trends indicate a high level of private equity and debt financing. Additionally, more funding activity is concentrated around later funding rounds. The sector is also witnessing a rise in IPOs and acquisitions. Such trends are pointing to a maturing market.”

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