By Jon Russell
SoftBank’s Vision Fund is backing Chinese online insurance giant ZhongAn through its latest investment, which could take the company — which has struggled for stability following a monster IPO last year — into international markets.
The Vision Fund announced today it has made an undisclosed investment in ZhongAn International, the global arm of the five-year-old company created by $200 billion insurance giant Ping An and internet firms Tencent and Alibaba. The ZongAn business is widely-heralded as China’s first digital insurance company. Its insurance products cover lifestyle, consumer finance, health, travel and automotive, and it went public last September in a Hong Kong IPO that raised $1.5 billion. ZhongAn International was created in December of last year to scout out overseas opportunities.
Despite impressive credentials and a trailblazing business, it hasn’t been smooth sailing.
Disappointing financial results — which center around hefty fees paid to online platforms that give it distribution — have seen the value of ZhongAn shares nosedive. The current price of HKD35.55 is down on the HK$59.70 IPO price, and a far cry from a peak HKD 93.65 back in October.
Aside from adding the support of a major name — SoftBank’s Vision Fund …read more
Source: Tech Crunch