World Bank rated Ant Financial as the most valuable fintech company in the World Development Report 2019 issued in October 2018. As a financial services company that has just spun off from Alibaba Group for four years, it does deserve the title of "the most valuable company" with a valuation of USD 160 billion.
Back in 1999, Jack Ma found Alibaba, the world’s most prominent e-commerce companies, providing B2B, B2C, C2C services through its platform. The transaction volume increased in a dramatic magnitude, especially after the Single’s Day online shopping festival. To facilitate these transactions, Alibaba developed Alipay, an online payment platform staring in 2004.
Originated from Alipay, Ant Financial is now a technology company that brings inclusive financial services to the world.
The launch of Alipay, Yu'e Bao, and financial technology are three crucial events or products have affected the business layout and long-term development of the company, also exerting a profound influence on the whole industry.
Moreover, in October 2017, Ant Financial unveiled its five technology-open “BASIC” strategies at the first ATEC conference to bring its technology trait a step further. The BASIC strategies are: Blockchain that helps to build reliable and globally connected systems used to store, exchange and process data; AI (artificial intelligence) that applied intelligence construction to deliver cheaper, more sustainable and optimal services; Security being the core of information system security and stability; IoT (Internet of Things) which connects the physical world and the digital world, enabling simultaneous changes; Cloud Computing, the abundant resource of computing power that opens up new possibilities for digital finance and economy.
Based on these strategies, Ant Financial is and will be more equipped for its current businesses, which include Alipay, Yu'e Bao, MYbank, Ant Credit Pay, Zhima Credit, Ant Cash Now, Ant Fortune, My Loan, Ant SDAQ and Ant Financial Cloud. These business sectors involve payment, fund, financial management, insurance, banking, consumer finance, petty loan, cash loan, credit investigation, and equity-based crowdfunding, etc.
From 2014 to 2018, Ant Financial has invested 120 times, involving 110 companies and covering 19 industries. These investments are in areas of: finance (37 times), enterprise service (19 times), trip (11 times), food & beverage (7 times), life service (7 times), AI (6 times), e-commerce (6 times), automobile traffic (4 times), culture & entertainment (4 times), medical & healthy (3 times), logistics transportation (2 times), education (2 times), agriculture (2 times), real-estate (2 times), tourism (2 times), retail (2 times), tool software (2 times), blockchain (1 time) and environment protection (1 time).
It can be seen that Ant Financial has not been satisfied with its simple financial business structure. Among the 49 investment events in 2018, only 6 are in the financial sector.
In addition to the investment in China, Ant Financial has also established branches in 14 countries and regions around the world, reaching cooperation agreements with at least 25 countries.
A company’s business layout reveals its direction on developing strategy, decisions on speed and quality and an understanding of its capability over a period of time. In October 2016, Ant Financial announced its three major strategies for the next decade -- globalization, serving small and micro enterprises and building a credit system.
The EO Intelligence report will further illustrate Ant Financial's business ecology based on these three strategies and will also provide a revenue forecasting for the fintech giant based on data disclosed from Ant Financial and third parties.