In a recent turn of events, Ant Group, a Chinese financial technology giant, reportedly decided to divest its $100 million investment in A&T Capital, signaling a retreat from the volatile crypto sector.
These reports come a few months after the resignation of A&T founding partner Yu Jun, who was later investigated for his workplace misconduct while serving as an executive at A&T Capital.
Ant Group to Retreat From A&T Capital
A&T Capital was founded in 2021 and has since been a top player in crypto markets, investing in startups such as digital asset lender Matrixport and Ethereum software maker ConsenSys.
Founded by Alibaba owner and Chinese businessman Jack Ma, Ant Group is allegedly retreating from the $100 million fund when the crypto venture funding landscape is experiencing a sharp downturn. Data indicates that crypto startup funding slid to its lowest since 2020 in the second quarter.
These emerging reports leave A&T Capital’s future uncertain as it’s yet to be established whether it will need a new investor or can continue operations. Based on reports, as of Sept. 18, A&T Capital’s website had a timed-out error, leading to even more uncertainty.
Ant Group’s move comes only about six months after Yu Jun’s resignation from A&T Capital. Yu Jun was a crucial player in establishing A&T, even contributing vastly to the network’s efforts to expand offshore. The crypto KOL and former exec at OKX resigned from A&T Capital after allegations were lodged against him about sexual misconduct.
As per reports, both government watchdogs and A&T Capital’s team have been probing the ex-executive for alleged sexual misconduct, mainly at A&T Capital, dating back to 2022.
Ant’s Latest Developments: The Race Into AI
The new reports are just the latest in Ant Group’s recent developments, as it aims for significant strides in financial AI while seemingly taking a step back in crypto.
On Sept. 8, the Chinese fintech giant Ant Group unveiled a finance-specific AI model and initiated testing for consumer and professional applications for the product. This was At Group’s move into the competitive AI world, with more than 130 other companies in China introducing similar models.
Reports indicate that cryptocurrency funding has recently dried up as venture capitalists have continued to flock to artificial intelligence since 2020. As such, there has been a notable increase in AI funding in the same period.