Jack Ma’s Ant Financial raises the bar for an IPO

Its $14 billion fundraiser lifts expectations for the valuation of its hotly anticipated IPO. Private investors’ ability to pile into China’s fintech champion squeezes room for public investors to participate during the listing.

The fintech giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, Ant Financial, said on Friday that it has raised $14 billion from investors, the largest ever private fundraiser on Crunchbase.

The deal values Ant at around $155 billion, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming the Hangzhou-headquartered company as the world’s most valuable unlisted company, or unicorn.

When companies raise capital, management is keen to achieve a valuation higher than the last fundraiser. This buoys investors' confidence and keeps the company's access to capital markets open. However Ant has raised its Series C round at a time when many investors think prices in Asia are sky...

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