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Alibaba Finance Arm Buys Eye-Scan Startup in First U.S. Foray

  • Ant Financial acquires Kansas City, Missouri-based startup
  • Biometric company identifies users through eye-vein patterns

Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., acquired EyeVerify Inc., to expand services using the U.S. startup’s biometric authentication technology for securing consumers’ online data and transactions.

Ant is paying about $70 million for the Kansas City, Missouri-based company, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the details are private. EyeVerify, which uses pictures of the human eyeball to unlock mobile services, will become a wholly-owned unit of Ant Financial, according to a statement from the company.