To do risk-free innovation is to stifle innovation. In many cases, controlling risk to zero is the biggest risk.
At the Bund Financial Summit last weekend, Jack Ma’s speech sparked heated discussions in the financial circle.
In addition to expressing his views on Internet finance, Ma Yun also revealed on the spot that the pricing of Ant Group's listing has been finalized, and said that this is "the largest IPO financing in human history."
Yesterday, Ant Group announced the IPO price. The total amount of financing in the A-share and H-share markets reached 34.5 billion U.S. dollars, and Jack Ma also jumped to 11th on the global rich list.
These astronomical amounts have nothing to do with most people, but we can take advantage of the listing of Ant to re-understand Alipay, which is used every day.
The largest IPO in the history of the world, Jack Ma's "pro-son" finally grows up
Before Ant Group went public, it was already the world's largest unicorn company, with a pre-IPO valuation of US$280 billion, so it is not surprising that it broke the historical record of IPO.
Ant will be listed on both A shares and Hong Kong stocks at the same time. It will raise 114.94 billion yuan (approximately US$17.23 billion) in A shares and HK$133.65 billion (approximately US$17.24 billion) in H shares. The total financing amount is nearly 34.5 billion. USD, with a total market value of 2.1 trillion yuan.
This financing amount also broke the record of Saudi Aramco's IPO financing of US$29.4 billion last year, making it the largest IPO in the history of the world.
In addition to this IPO, Jack Ma's net worth reached US$71.6 billion, rising to 11th in the global rankings, and many Ant employees also received a "huge equity incentive."
The prospectus information disclosed by Ant Group shows that the economic benefits under the economic benefit incentive plan correspond to a total of 3.079 billion shares of the issuer, of which the proportion of employees and consultants granted to Ant Group is about 65%.
Based on the issuance price of 68.8 yuan per share in A shares, the total amount of incentives granted to the employees and consultants of Ant Group is about 137.7 billion yuan.
Although the prospectus did not disclose the number of people who received incentives, even the entire company's 16,660 people (as of June 2020 data) can get incentives, and each person can get 8.26 million yuan on average. According to the average price of second-hand houses in Hangzhou, 29,200 yuan, Every Ant employee can buy a 283 square meter house in Hangzhou.
In the prospectus of Ant Group , there are still many data worthy of attention.
Although Ant also stated in the prospectus that its performance this year was affected by the new crown epidemic, it still delivered a good report card in the first half of the year, with a net profit of 21.923 billion yuan, an increase of 1158.7% year-on-year.
▲ The advertisement of Huabei has caused controversy on the Internet.
Among them, the micro-credit technology platform business represented by Huabei and Bibei is the mainstay of Ant’s revenue. In the first half of this year alone, revenue reached 28.586 billion yuan, accounting for nearly 40% of total revenue. Huabei borrowed and served about 500 million users. .
In addition, Alipay has 711 million monthly active users as of June 30 this year, which also means that Alipay has surpassed QQ to become the second largest App in China after WeChat.
Compared with the listed Alibaba, Ant is actually Jack Ma's "pro son". Because Japan's Softbank Group is the major shareholder of Alibaba, and Jack Ma holds less than 5% of the shares.
In 2009, it successfully obtained the third-party payment license from the regulatory authority. Under the promotion of Jack Ma, Alipay was spun off from Alibaba. Although it currently holds only 8.8% of the shares in Ant, it controls more than 50% of the shares through direct and indirect means and is still the actual helm.
▲ The equity change when Alipay divested Alibaba.
In addition, Ant's own "technological attributes" are featured in the big book in the prospectus. Simply put, Ant wants to tell the world that although I am running a financial business, I am a technology company, not a financial company.
A technology company or a financial company?
Since the news that Ant Financial was preparing to go public in 2016, Jack Ma and the executives of Ant have often emphasized that Ant is a technology company in various public places.
In June this year, Ant Financial also changed its full name from "Zhejiang Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Co., Ltd." to "Ant Technology Group Co., Ltd.", replacing "finance" with "technology". Ant publicly responded to the media :
The new name means that we will fully serve the needs of the digital upgrade of society and the economy, but the ant is still the ant. Insist on innovation and use technology to create value for global consumers and small and micro enterprises is our constant original intention.
A few days ago, Ant updated its chairman Jing Xiandong’s open letter to investors in its prospectus. The first sentence of the letter was the definition of Ant Group:
Ant Group is not a financial institution, not only a mobile payment company, but a company determined to use today’s best technology and resources to help banks and financial institutions better serve every consumer and every small and micro enterprise. Technology company.
However, the attributes of a company are not determined by a name and a mouth, just like Lei Jun has always defined Xiaomi as an Internet company, but the market has not fully recognized this.
Therefore, in the prospectus for listing, Ant also used more data and cases to prove that it is a technology company.
From the perspective of revenue structure, Ant divides revenue into payment business and technical services. Digital financial technology platforms and innovative businesses belong to technical services. Microfinance, wealth management and insurance products are included. The business model is to provide other financial institutions on the platform. Charging technical service fees is similar to e-commerce and live broadcast platforms such as Taobao and Kuaishou.
At present, technical services account for more than 64% of Ant's total revenue. Ant Group CEO Hu Xiaoming said in an interview with Bloomberg in June that 80% of Ant's revenue is expected to come from technical service fees in the next five years.
In the ant capability system diagram shown in the prospectus, supporting the Alipay platform’s digital payment and life services and digital financial technology platforms are intelligent business decision-making systems, dynamic risk management systems, artificial intelligence, algorithms and analysis and calculations. chain.
Among them, the computing and Antchain, which are the "foundation" of Alipay, belong to innovative businesses, and the blockchain is an important development direction. It is worth mentioning that the term "blockchain" has appeared 130 times in the prospectus, which shows that Ants attaches great importance to this business.
Ant began to deploy blockchain technology in 2015. In July this year, it announced that it would upgrade the Ant blockchain to "Ant Chain". The name is said to be Jack Ma. He even stated internally that the decision to nurture it "blockchain" , No less than the original decision to establish Alipay.
Nowadays, when it comes to blockchain, the first impression is often the currency circle at three in the morning. Besides, what can the blockchain actually do?
Ant listed two application cases in the prospectus. One is "blockchain-driven supply chain finance". After a digital record of accounts receivable is created through the blockchain platform, the bank can easily track it.
The other is "helping small and micro IT equipment leasing companies", which allows these companies to purchase and lease IT equipment such as laptops and printers more conveniently and at low cost.
Ant's blockchain technology has also been used in Tmall and Taobao, which are more commonly used by ordinary consumers.
On Double Eleven last year, Tmall used the Ant blockchain technology to trace the source of 400 million cross-border commodities, and used full-link logistics information to identify illegal and false logistics records and improve the efficiency of product anti-counterfeiting.
In addition, Taobao merchants can also use a blockchain-based tool, Quechao, to "pirate image rights". When the copyright information of Taobao merchants' pictures is registered on the chain, it is easier to obtain evidence after the image is stolen.
According to the data provided by Ant, in the 12 months ended June 30, 2020, the Ant Chain platform generated more than 100 million daily active data on the chain. At present, the number of blockchain patent applications of Ant has ranked first in the world for 4 consecutive years.
And 40% of the funds raised by Ant’s listing will be invested in innovation and technology, of which artificial intelligence, blockchain, security, risk management and computing and technical infrastructure are the key areas of R&D.
It is worth mentioning that in Ant Group’s reply to the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s review inquiry letter submitted on September 8, it was mentioned that WeChat Pay, which also provides digital payment services, is not comparable to itself. Of course, this statement must be controversial.
However, from the side, Ant’s ultimate goal is not just to be a third-party payment platform .
The ants that change the bank, what else to change?
In the past few years, Alipay and WeChat Pay have popularized mobile payments in China through a QR code. These two platforms also account for more than 90% of the market share in China's mobile payment field.
However, the biggest difference between Ant and WeChat Pay is that Ant has gone further in the field of financial services. In Jack Ma’s vision, one of the foundations of Internet finance is a credit system based on big data, and he believes that the era of the Internet economy must require a set of credit infrastructure.
In fact, from Taobao to Alipay, they have been building a credit system. At the Bund Financial Summit a few days ago, Jack Ma once again raised this point :
The essence of finance is credit. We must get rid of financial pawnshop thinking and rely on the credit system.
Jack Ma has repeatedly stated similar views in the past ten years. In Alibaba's plan, by 2027, Chinese cities will become credit cities. On the premise of smooth credit information flow, sound credit evaluation system, and credit convenience, all facilities and services will be based on the credit system.
▲The society where everything depends on ratings in “Black Mirror'' is not so good.
At present, Sesame Credit Score has allowed many scenarios to rely on the credit system. The hotel will check in first and then charge fees, rent a car without a deposit, or replace other certification materials when applying for a visa, which partially realizes the blueprint of a credit city.
The blockchain and other technologies that Ant has invested heavily are actually to assist the construction of the credit system. A cover article in The Economist pointed out that blockchain is a machine of trust.
Blockchain allows people to collaborate with each other without trusting each other and without a neutral central authority. Simply put, it is a machine that creates trust.
In 2008, because Ma Yun was dissatisfied with the bank's loan services to small and medium-sized enterprises, he released a harsh statement: "If the bank does not change, we will change the bank." In the end, Alipay won users with its products and services, and forced the bank to make changes.
Technology has changed finance and everyone's life. This is also the only way to build a credit city in Ma Yun's mind. From this point of view, such a blueprint does need to be realized by a technology company.
As for whether this company is ants, or is it only ants, each of us will be a witness.
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