Monday, 01 May 2017 12:11

Airwallex raises US$13 million for global expansion Featured

Airwallex co-founder and CEO, Jack Zhang Airwallex co-founder and CEO, Jack Zhang

Melbourne headquartered fintech start-up Airwallex has raised US$13 million to drive international expansion of its cross-border payment solutions platform.

The capital raising was led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, along with Sequoia Capital China and Mastercard.

“The continued growth of international trade and the global economy rely on efficient cross-border transactions,” said Airwallex co-founder and chief executive Jack Zhang.

“Our mission is to eradicate the burden of international payments so that businesses can transact across borders with ease. Armed with a growing number of financial services licences and partnerships across numerous jurisdictions, we aim to make international payments as cheap and simple as domestic payments.”

Steven Ji, partner of Sequoia, said the capital raising was among one of the largest ever Series A funding rounds by an Australian technology start-up, and this would propel the release of Airwallex’s suite of APIs, allowing businesses to process international payments at scale.

Ji said the Airwallex platform could support thousands of transactions per second, providing a more cost-effective alternative to existing payment networks, and helps businesses automate and scale their international payment workflows.

Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, said: “Victoria’s reputation as a leading destination for tech and business investment in the Asia Pacific is going from strength to strength and that is in no small part due to the depth of talent in our start-up sector.

“Home-grown success stories like Airwallex are attracting international investment and taking brand Victoria to the world, proving that our tech capabilities can compete with the best.”

According to FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho, the Airwallex announcement is further evidence that Australian fintech companies are regarded as “truly world class by top global investors, and of our industry's increasingly strong links with Asia and China”.

“It also continues the trend highlighted in the recent KPMG Pulse of FinTech report that showed investments into Australian fintech companies more than tripled in 2016, outpacing the growth of investment in other regions, and well in line with other leading Asia-Pacific fintech hubs.”

The Airwallex funding round follows a pre-Series A round of US$3 million in early 2016 led by Gobi Partners.

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