Singapore and California-based startup V-Key, which specializes in mobile security and cryptography, has just raised a series B round from existing backer IPV Capital as well as Ant Financial Services, the operating company of Alipay, the payment processor started by Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Ant Financial now has a minority stake in the startup.
V-Key’s technology will be used to secure Alipay’s services. Besides online payment processing, it operates mobile payment service Alipay Wallet, online investment fund Yu’e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao, a loans marketplace for small businesses, Ant Credit, and MYbank.
Alipay says it’s the largest third-party online payment provider in China by total payment volume. It handles 80 million transactions a day, out of which 45 million are done through Alipay Wallet. It controls just under half of the Chinese online payments market, with Tenpay in distant second at 20 percent. Wallet has 190 million users who transact or transfer money at least once a year. Besides gunning for global expansion, Alipay is also looking to increase its dominance domestically. It is exploring the possibility of integrating with Apple Pay.
V-Key secures any app from malicious attacks, even in instances when the phone itself is compromised. It says the technology is already being used in “millions” of devices around the world. The startup has a stacked founding team consisting of serial entrepreneur Eddie Chau, senior IT executive Benjamin Mah, and mobile security expert Joseph Gan.