Alibaba to raise $1bn for Koubei platform
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is planning to raise roughly $1 billion in funds for the expansion of its local-services platform Koubei, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The move could boost the valuation of the venture to almost $8 billion by bringing in outside investors, the report said.
Koubei used to be financed largely by Alibaba and its financial affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, but with the new strategic plan it could make its operations more independent and even list its shares as a separate entity at some point, sources revealed. However, the terms of the transaction have not been finalized yet and are subject to change due to impending negotiations with prospective investors, the report explained. The Chinese e-commerce giant is planning to reach out to a small group of prominent international clients with whom it has already built close relationships, sources added.
Koubei, which operates in the field of online orders for offline services, including food delivery and taxi rides, has grown rapidly, but still remains largely unprofitable.