The world’s largest fintech startup is AliPay, the digital bank company that split from e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2011.
A new research note on the fintech industry from Citi pointed out two things: 1) AliPay has a valuation on par with some of the larger private tech companies, like Uber and Airbnb; 2) AliPay is still technically a private company.
Alipay is currently raising money that values the company at $60 billion, according to Reuters.
The firm is owned by Ant Financial, which in turn is 50% owned by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. Ma split Alipay off from Alibaba to avoid having to obtain permission from the Chinese government to operate as a non-bank payment firm. Alipay operates as a foreign, not a Chinese, company.
US firms were pretty high up on the fintech unicorn list too—Stripe, Credit Karma, Zenefits, Prosper, and SoFi all made the list.