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Aussie firm Airwallex clinches fintech unicorn status

Aussie firm Airwallex clinches fintech unicorn status

Firm uses investment to expand product, support global expansion

Airwallex founders, Jack Zhang (CEO), Lucy Liu (President), Xijing Dai (CTO) and Max Li (Product Architect).

Airwallex founders, Jack Zhang (CEO), Lucy Liu (President), Xijing Dai (CTO) and Max Li (Product Architect).

Three years after its launch, Australian payments startup, Airwallex, has gained unicorn status following fundraising of US$100 million, valuing the company at more than $US1 billion.

The Melbourne fintech startup’s Series C fundraising was led by DST Global, which has invested in companies including Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify. 

Alongside new investor DST Global, participants from Airwallex’s previous rounds returned for the Series C fundraising, including Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Gobi Partners, Horizons Ventures and Square Peg Capital.

Airwallex said the latest investment will be used to expand its suite of international collection and payment products, and to support global expansion into the US, UK/Europe and Southeast Asia.

In 2017, Airwallex raised US$13 million to fund its international expansion.

According to CIO Australia at the time, the Series A funding round – claimed to be one of the largest ever by Australian start-up – attracted funds from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital China, and Mastercard.

Airwallex said it was also the first Australian start-up to join the Mastercard Start Path accelerator program in September 2016.

The company has grown from an emerging startup to a global challenger in the cross-border payment space, supporting a client base of internet players including JD.com, Tencent and Ctrip, and large financial service companies including MasterCard.

It moved headquarters from Melbourne to Hong Kong, but still have 60 of its 260 employees in the Australian city.

“We started Airwallex because we knew there was a better way to make global payments,” said Airwallex CEO and co-founder Jack Zhang. “Airwallex is proud to free businesses from many of the traditional barriers that have made international transactions so difficult.

“Our mission is to build a worldwide, technology-driven financial infrastructure that will help our customers - including marketplaces, online sellers and SMEs - grow their businesses globally.”

Airwallex offers an end-to-end solution for businesses to move money programmatically on a global scale.

It said customers can create international bank accounts instantly, access interbank exchange rates and send money through local and international clearing networks to more than 130 countries.

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Tags investmentmastercardStartupAirwallexaccelerator programcross-payment spaceinternational collection and payment productsfintech unicorn

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