Alibaba, Ant Financial in $1.25b food delivery bet

Alibaba and its affiliate are set to become the biggest shareholders in Ele.me, as the battle for control of China's O2O space intensifies.

Ele.me, a Chinese food delivery startup already backed by Tencent and JD.com, has raised a further $1.25 billion from Alibaba and Ant Financial, as competition for control of the country’s fast-growing online-to-offline business sector intensifies.

As a result of the deal announced by Ele.me on Wednesday, Alibaba and Ant Financial will have a combined stake of 27.7%, valuing the seven year-old startup at about $4.5 billion and making them its biggest shareholders, two people with knowledge of the matter told FinanceAsia.

Alibaba and its financial affiliate have invested $900 million and $350 million in the online food delivery platform, respectively, Ele.me said,...

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