Alibaba is making some big moves in the business world with its recent investment in an Indian startup, and now it’s subsidiary, Ant Financial, is moving in the direction of digital banking as the company applies for a license in Singapore. This move came ahead of the speculated investment in Zomato and before the launch of its India and Southeast Asia focused fund.
Ant Financial reached out to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and applied for a wholesale banking license to be a part of the developing digital banking era in Singapore. For UPI, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has agreed with the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) in November 2019 to make India’s successful UPI standard to a global market. This would help in resolving the ongoing payment crisis that is faced by the Indians traveling abroad.
Razer making a move from gaming to banking
The gaming company and PC maker Razer and cab-hailing platform Grab have also applied for digital banking licenses to bring a change in the digital banking liberalization journey. The companies are aiming to digitalize the market and address the under-served segments of the market.
Lucy Peng founded Ant Financial in October 2014, and its portfolio of the Indian market includes unicorns such as Paytm and Zomato. It is the second-largest stakeholder in the food aggregator business with a 20% share in the company as it invested $200 million in Zomato in February 2018.
In November 2019, the company was looking forward to raising $1 billion for funding for the Indian and Southeast Asian startup ecosystem. The company planned to invest in companies that already had follow-on investments. The firm’s investment revolves around three significant directions according to the VP Ji Gang, and these are:
- The businesses that can work as an extension of Alipay
- tech startups who are working in BASIC (blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing) domain
- to find reliable potential partners from emerging markets