Online Stock-Trading Community Raises $120 Million
Xueqiu, operator of an online stock-trading community, said on Monday it has raised $120 million in its latest funding round, with Alibaba-backed financial services giant Ant Financial joining in as a new investor.
The company, which operates a site similar to the U.S.-based Seeking Alpha, will use money from its D-round funding to upgrade its community platform and trading system, CEO Fang Sanwen said in a statement on the company’s account on the popular WeChat instant messaging service.
“We will also use the funds to give our users cross-market, multiple types of stock fund trading services,” he said.
After starting off as a news and information service in 2010, Xueqiu, whose name means “snowball” in Chinese, has gradually come to more resemble a new wave of financial technology (fintech) firms that offer financial-related products and services over the internet. The company currently has up to 1.2 million monthly active users who make an average of more than 200,000 daily posts to its community platform for stock traders.
The company offers information and data from China’s two main stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as Hong Kong and the U.S. It offers trading services by working with licensed Chinese brokerages.
“Following this D-round fund-raising, Xueqiu will work on collaborative efforts with Ant Financial,” said Hu Xiaodong, a director at Ant Financial Services Group, the financial affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and operator of the popular Alipay online payments service. “We will popularize wealth management services, especially aiming to establish this concept for younger users by strengthening their awareness of risk prevention and making them better wealth managers.”
Xueqiu’s previous investors have included Sequoia Capital and Morningside Venture Capital.
The fund-raising comes just a week after a similar capital-raising by Tiger Brokers, which operates a platform that helps stock traders get information on U.S.- and Hong Kong-listed shares, and also to purchase those stocks. That round saw Tiger Brokers, whose backers include well-known investor Jim Rogers and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., raise an addition $80 million, bringing its total valuation to just over $1 billion.
Contact reporter Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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