Interesting things are happening in the Fintech sector, even though not all of these events are picked up by major media outlets. Alipay, the payment spinoff of the Alibaba group, has made an investment in M-Daq. Or to be more precise, Ant Financial, who runs Alipay, has made the investment in this Singapore-based startup.
Why Is M-Daq So Appealing To Alipay?
It has to be said; the Singapore startup raised quite a bit of money in its recent Series C round last November. A total of US$87m was collected from various investors, including Alipay operator Ant Financial. As a result of this series C round, the company quickly become one of SIngapore’s top-funded startups in history.
However, that does not explain why Alibaba has taken such an interest in this company all of a sudden. While it is true Alibaba has been making some strategic investments in Southeast Asia over the past 18 months; M-Daq is not a logical addition to that list. Ant Financial has plans to buy a stake in a Thai payment company, though, which seems to be part of Alibaba’s expansion plan.
When looking at things from this expansion perspective, it somehow makes more sense why there is an interest in M-Daq. The company debuted its forex products for ecommerce in September of 2015, which has been received rather well. The focus of this product is to facilitate cross-border payments at lower costs and offer more predictable rates to merchants as well.
Most people know Alibaba as a platform catering towards Chinese merchants and customers. But over the years, this name has become synonymous with online shopping. To attract a larger international clientele, expansion to different countries is needed. Doing so through strategic partnerships is a smart decision, as it generates a lot of media attention to boot.
For the time being, it remains unclear as to how many shares Ant Financial has purchased, or how much money has been invested in total. It is likely this investment took place through one or multiple subsidiary companies, though. Either way, this is an interesting take on expanding Fintech and ecommerce in Southeast Asia.
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