Australian fintech startup Airwallex just managed to raise funds from a number of global investors. It secured $13 million in total funding, as the startup continues to expand its cross-border payment business overseas.
A successful funding round
The funding round managed to attract plenty of foreign investment from some of the biggest names in global commerce. Airwallex was able to secure investment from card issuer Mastercard and Chinese web giant Tencent Holdings. Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China also invested during the funding round. The technology-focused VC firm has previously invested in famous tech brands like Apple and AirBnB. However, Sequoia Capital China hadn’t previously made an investment in an Australian startup.
Sequoia’s partner Steven Ji said in the official statement, “Foreign exchange transactions pose a real challenge for businesses that operate cross borders, and Airwallex’s solution has seriously impressed us in its ability to close the gap and allow companies to financial access markets that may have previously been out of reach.”
Airwallex’s co-founder and chief executive Jack Zhang was satisfied with the introduction of big strategic investors. He told StartupCompany,”The business is on the right track and we have acquired some of the biggest clients around the world.”
The startup had previously attracted $4.5 million from various angel investors and venture capital firms Gobi Partners and Gravity VC. Interestingly, the startup was the first Australian firm to participate in Mastercard’s Start Path accelerator program in 2016.
Looking forward to the future
Airwallex customers are SMEs, which are looking for access to interbank mid-market exchange rates when they are making cross-border transactions. The startup has utilised algorithms, big data analytics and quantitative models to protect against market volatility.
The latest funding round is hoped to provide the startup what it needs to push forward to international markets. Airwallex is headquartered in Melbourne, but it has also opened offices in China and the UK. During the previous year, it has grown its global team from four to 40.
Zhang told Business Insider Australia, the funding would be strategically used to maximise its potential to boost growth. “There’s still a lot of improvement we can do to make our product easier to adopt –that’s probably 30% of the money will be used for. The other 70% will be used for market expansion in other countries, especially Europe and Singapore,” he said.
In terms of the Australian fintech scene, the sector is increasing its prominence among startups. According to a survey by Startup Muster, 15.9% of startups and 42.1% of the supporters operate in the fintech sector. Furthermore, the survey showed over 56% of investors examining the industry as a potential investment opportunity.
Indeed, in terms of global fintech investment, Australia has been on an upward trend. This despite the global fintech investment declining at the start of 2017 from the previous years.