By Muneerah Bee
International payments company Airwallex recently announced the successful completion of its Series B fundraising. The company has now secured US$80 million from venture capital investment, taking their total fundraising to US$102 million.
To close the Series B round, existing Series A investors Tencent and Sequoia China were joined by fellow China based Hillhouse, Sir Ka-Shing Li’s Horizons Ventures from Hong Kong, Indonesia’s Central Capital Ventura (BCA) and Australia’s Square Peg, with whom Airwallex partnered in December for US$6m Series A+ funding.
The new funding will accelerate the production of the smart, seamless cross-border payment technology that is effectively reimagining global payments. This level of funding success means significant global expansion and a clear step forward to Airwallex realising their commitment to connecting every digital end-point in the world, the company said.
COO and co-founder Lucy Liu explained: “Airwallex has identified that businesses in all corners of the world are experiencing similar challenges as the pace and connectivity of a digitalised global economy continues to gain momentum. By offering full end to end solutions – not just in FX and payments – we’re changing the way our clients thrive in the global arena.”
Adding to Airwallex’s entities in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Shanghai, the firm will now extend to North America, and Canada. Tencent and Sequoia China have demonstrated a strong confidence in the company’s ability to change the way the world does business with China, again participating in Airwallex’s fundraising.
Sequoia China founding and managing partner Neil Shen said: “As the pace and connectivity of the digitalised global economy continues to rapidly accelerate, the need to focus on foreign exchange and payments has become critically important for large corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We believe that Airwallex’s continuous improvement in providing seamless solutions for this problem is eliminating the obstacle, effectively giving their clients a clear advantage in a hyper competitive global market.”
A notable portion of funds will be put towards encouraging financial inclusion for SMEs in the Hong Kong market, where Airwallex will apply for a Virtual Banking licence to support and empower the fintech ecosystem globally. Funding will also support growth in the UK, where despite Brexit, Airwallex sees growth opportunities, especially supporting those companies doing business and accelerating connections with China and South-east Asia.
At home, Airwallex will use the Series B funding to seed the go-to-market for a new product suite. “Airwallex wants to support Australian businesses with awesome financial products,” Liu declared. “In providing these solutions, we intend to shake up the industries we’re playing in. We’re creating a better, more cost effective one-stop-shop solution using technology delivered here in Australia.”