Chinese tech giant buys stake in Aussie fintech

Tencent has bought a 5 per cent equity stake in Afterpay.

“We feel very privileged to welcome Tencent as a substantial shareholder in our business. Being able to attract a strategic investor of this calibre is extremely rewarding and is a testament to our team and the strength of our differentiated business model,” said Afterpay co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar. “Tencent’s investment provides us with the opportunity to learn from one of the world’s most successful digital platform businesses.”

“To be able to tap into Tencent’s vast experience and network is valuable, as is the potential to collaborate in areas such as technology, geographic expansion and future payment options on the Afterpay platform.”

Tencent is one of the largest internet companies in the world, and owns communication platform WeChat, as well as the mobile payments platform Weixin Pay Service, which facilitates 1 billion commercial transactions per day. Tencent is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“We are pleased to become investors in Afterpay,” said James Mitchell, chief strategy officer at Tencent. “Inside China we operate the leading digital payment service and a rapidly growing fintech platform, and outside China we have actively invested in pioneering fintech companies, providing us with unique insights into emerging fintech services.”

“Afterpay’s approach stands out to us not just for its attractive business model characteristics, but also because its service aligns so well with consumer trends we see developing globally in terms of Afterpay’s customer-centric, interest-free approach as well as its integrated retail presence and ability to add significant value for its merchant base.”