Alibaba buys minority stake in V-key

Online retailer Alibaba Group invests in Singapore’s V-Key for a minority stake.

Alibaba Group has invested $12 million in Singapore-beased mobile security software company V-Key through its microfinance unit Ant Financial, on November 18, 2014. The company, co-founded by entrepreneur Eddie Chau, V-Key focuses on building software that secures frequently targeted smartphone apps and data from cyber criminals.

Alibaba buys minority stake in V-key

The firm’s approach to security involves incorporating its patent-pending V-OS software into apps, which blocks hijackers from stealing sensitive data and passwords. The said software mimics the smartcard chip technology that is used by credit card companies by virtualizing the smartcard chip for storage in the phone.

The V-OS software is functional on over one million devices worldwide, mostly through online payment firm’s mobile point-of-sale terminals in China. Currently, Ant Financial’s Alipay online payment platform handles 80 million transactions daily, more than 50 percent of which are through mobile phones.

Through this investment, the V-OS software could be put to use along with the platform to create a safer and easier global transaction environment. The Alibaba Group only recently invested $240.9 million for a 10 per cent stake in SingPost in May 2014 to get larger access to the e-commerce market.

As per a 2012 report by anti-virus software producer Symantec, one in three mobile users has been exposed to some kind of mobile cyber crime or the other. Keeping that in consideration, V-Key had developed the V-OS software as an alternate to anti viruses that slow down the processing power of devices .

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