Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba Group has filed for a US IPO, set to be one the biggest IPO’s in history after Facebook’s, putting the giant in the same ranks as IBM and Oracle with a projected worth of nearly $170 to $250 billion according to data from Bloomberg.
Founded in 1999 in China by the legendary Jack Ma, a former English teacher, Alibaba is one of the world’s biggest tech success stories which has grown from its launch in a sitting room to become the largest online marketplace for companies in China for over a decade with its other arms Juhuasuan, Taobao Marketplace and Tmall and several acquisitions.
Data from Forbes say as at the end of end of December 2013, Alibaba had 231 million active buyers on site, a 44% increase from 2012. The firm had 75% of all its transaction done on mobile phones, and 19.7% from phones or tablets. The firm’s gross merchandise volumes exceeded $248 billion in 2013.
The biggest earners in Alibaba’s IPO include Japan’s SoftBank with a 34.4% stake, US Internet giant Yahoo with a 22.6% stake and its founder and Chairman Jack Ma, with a 8.9% stake.