Australian cross-border payments fintech startup Airwallex has raised US$13million in its first significant venture capital financing round to fuel its international expansion.
Airwallex helps businesses automate and scale their international payment workflows, able to support thousands of transactions per second and provide a cost-effective alternative to existing payment networks.
Airwallex’s foreign exchange platform attracted significant investor interest, including from WeChat creator Tencent; Sequoia Capital China, whose investment in Airwallex will mark the first Australian investment for the Chinese arm of the Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist; Gobi Partners, and global digital payments powerhouse, Mastercard.
Airwallex was the first Australian startup to join the Mastercard Start Path accelerator program in September 2016.
“Foreign exchange transactions pose a real challenge for businesses that operate across borders, and Airwallex’s solution has impressed us in its ability to close the gap and allow companies to financially access markets that may have previously been out of reach,” Sequoia partner Steven Ji says.
The Airwallex platform is powered by a foreign exchange and payment engine and a transparent pricing model to avoid inflated margins and minimise market risk.
One of only a handful of payments companies licensed to transact in and out of China, the funding round will further fuel Airwallex’s help to accelerate a suite of new Airwallex APIs.
"We are in the strong position of having access to one of just 28 licenses to conduct cross-border transactions in China,” Airwallex CEO Jack Zhang says.
“Where most companies can transact purely in CNH (China's off-shore currency), we can also transact in CNY (the on-shore equivalent), providing our customers unprecedented access to the Chinese market."
This Airwallex funding round follows a pre-Series A round of US$3 million in early 2016 led by Gobi Partners.