Marbridge Daily

<- April 11, 2017 ->

Alibaba's Sports Business to Raise RMB 1.2 Bln in Series A Funding

Tencent Finance, 4/10/17

Alibaba Sports, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), recently confirmed that it has begun soliciting Series A funding, and that it is looking to sell a 15% equity stake to raise RMB 1.235 bln at an RMB 7 bln valuation. Alibaba Sports told online media outlet Tencent Finance that the Series A funding round has not yet closed, but declined to provide details on the amount of funding raised to date.

The funding round is reportedly being led by investment firm Yunfeng Capital (YF Capital), which has contributed RMB 1.035 bln to the funding round, according to a source familiar with the matter. Other investors reportedly include Taiping Guofa Dingsheng Capital, which has invested RMB 180 mln, and Qianheng Venture Capital.

Out of total Series A funding, RMB 1.13 bln will reportedly be used for IP operations, content production, and IP acquisitions and investments, as well as for daily operations and fixed asset purchases. The remaining RMB 105 mln will be allocated flexibly as needed.

Alibaba Sports has reportedly committed to submitting an IPO before December 31, 2022, with Series A investors receiving an option to have the company repurchase their shares in the event that this condition is not met.

Editor's Note: Yunfeng Capital is a private equity firm established by Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma, Target Media founder Yu Feng, and Giant Interactive chairman Shi Yuzhu.

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