Up to $10 billion valuation expected for Alibaba-backed insurer.
ZhongAn, China’s first online-only insurance company, announced an initial public offering in Hong Kong in which it plans to raise up to $1.5 billion for a potential valuation of $10 billion. The share sale will begin Monday morning with SoftBank Group sftby as a cornerstone investor with a 5% stake. The listing is expected to be one of the year’s largest technology offerings in Hong Kong.
The co-founders of ZhongAn include Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and executive chairman of Alibaba Group baba , and Pony Ma (no relation), the chairman of Tencent Holdings tcehy . Ant Financial Services, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, is among the company’s biggest shareholders. Few other technology platforms are backed by both Ant and Tencent.
In a recent online sale, the company sold 13,000 policies per second. Despite large sales volumes, the company has not yet demonstrated large profits, netting $1.4 million on earnings of $488 million in 2016. They expect a net loss in 2017, which they attribute to growth costs, which resulted in a $31 million net loss in the first quarter.
The Chinese insurance sector is seen as a high-growth sector, as insurance uptake in the country is relatively low. More than 60% of ZhongAn’s customers are aged 20 to 35.
Shares are expected to begin trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange on September 28.