Alipay Quietly Invests in Singaporean Startup, M-Daq

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Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate that runs payment gateway Alipay has made a low key investment in Singaporean startup M-Daqaccording to Tech In Asia.

M-Daq is very media shy but it has raised $87 million in its series C funding round in November making it one of Singapore’s top-funded startups. The issue share capital that Ant Financial owns in M-Daq is worth $22 million, the value of its total shares being higher.

M-Daq’s series C fundraising round was raised at company’s valuation of $185 million. It was led by self-described “a new strategic investor”, speculated to be Ant Financial.

Why Alibaba cares about M-Daq

According to Tech In Asia, M-Daq debuted a forex product for ecommerce called ‘Aladdin’, which it piloted with a ‘global ecommerce powerhouse’.

M-Daq technology was built to make cross-border  transactions less costly, with better and more predictable rates for merchants.

This will be useful if Alibaba wants to boost sales between sellers in China and buyers across the world.

This is where it gets slightly complex; documents obtained by Tech In Asia reveal that Ant Financial invested in M-Daq via an entity called API Investment Limited. An entity called Shanghai Yunju Investment Limited holds 100% of shares in API and 100% of Shanghai Yinju’s shares are held by Ant Financial.

It could be said then, that Alibaba plans to leverage from M-Daq’s cross border payment product in support of its plans for global expansion. Neither company has responded for comment.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 22. Read the full version here.

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