JD Finance, JD.com subsidiary raises $1 billion

By Staff Writer

Jan 18, 2016 07:21 AM EST

Jingdong Mall or formally known as JD.com, one of China's big e-commerce players announces that the company financial subsidiary managed to secure $1 billion worth in financing. The second round of financing obtained by JD Finance helps to boost JD.com valuation as the company is currently valued at $7 billion. The latest valuation means that the company is currently the closest rival of Alibaba.

The second financing round obtain by JD.com comes from its lead investors, venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital China and China Taiping Insurance. According to The Wall Street Journal, the fundraising effort was done by its main holding company, the Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Although lots of investment coming from other investment firms, JD.com said that the company will remain as the major owner of JD Finance. Its CEO, Liu Qiangdong told Forbes regarding the latest investment that "By partnering with top financial and start-up service institutions, we will be even better positioned to create China's leading financial technology ecosystem."

The company is backed by Tencent Holdings, the company might soon face a competition with Tencent's own online-banking affiliate, the WeBank. The bank will be seeking an investment around $1 billion too soon in order to compete with Alibaba's Ant Financial.

Ant Financial previously managed to secure $1.9 billion investment from foreign investors including one from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. former partner, Fred Hu. Ant Financial is currently operating AliBaba's online transaction, Alipay and the service currently have 400 million active users.

The rapid growth of online banking in China had forced companies to keep on improving their service and trust among users to increase their users. Reuters reported that JD.com spokesperson told reporters that "During this phase of rapid development, we will benefit from the operating expertise that world-class financial institutions bring. We will continue to evaluate all options [for future additional financing] but plan to maintain a majority ownership in any eventuality."

The transaction is expected to be completed by the first half of this year and is expected to boost its share price soon. Currently, its share is being traded at a low price and has lost around 16 percent of value since early last year as investors are losing confidence with China-related stocks.

On a related news, JD.com also just finished a round of oversea investment as they had invested a maximum of $55 million in a shopping app startup, Wish. Wish is a San Francisco-based startup that is currently valued at $3.5 billion by an analyst.

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