Fintech Startup Airwallex Bags US$40M In Series D Extension Round

In Q3 2020, Airwallex increased its global customer base by 50% and net revenue by over 100% compared to the previous quarter

 

Australian fintech startup Airwallex, which had raised US$160 million in April, has closed its extended Series D round with an additional $40 million from new and existing investors, the startup announced in a press release today.

 

According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian software giant Atlassian’s Co-founder Scott Farquhar and his wife Kim Jackson participated in the extension round, through their private investment vehicle Skip Capital, which focusses on women-led startups.

 

With the fresh capital infusion, the startup’s total Series D funding stands at $200 million while total equity raised to date exceeds $400 million, the press statement noted.

 

Airwallex continues to be valued at $1.8 billion in this round, as the startup had announced during its initial Series D funding round, a report by the Australian Financial Review stated.

 

Airwallex will utilize the latest financing to invest in its product suite, and strengthen its presence in the existing markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Europe and UK, while expanding its footprint in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa, the statement said. The startup is also preparing to launch its services in the U.S. by Q1 2021, it added.

 

To fuel its rapid international expansion plan, Airwallex has also been actively recruiting talents, with over 140 employees recruited in the first of the year. The startup is looking to fill over 100 more open positions across its global offices, the statement noted.

 

The Melbourne-headquartered startup is also backed by other well-known investors including tech giant Tencent, Sequoia, DST Global, Gobi Partners, and Mastercard.

 

Airwallex was established in 2015 and started operating out of a small Melbourne cafe to enable small businesses to source products from offshore merchants without incurring typical exchange fees.

 

According to its website, the startup now offers end-to-end smart cross-border payment solutions for businesses, allowing them to instantly open international bank accounts, access interbank exchange rates, and send money through local and international clearing networks to over 130 countries.

 

According to Airwallex CEO and Co-founder Jack Zhang, since its inception, the startup has invested heavily to build a global digital infrastructure and an extensive suite of products that enable businesses to efficiently move and manage their money across borders.

 

This year, fueled by a rapid increase in demand for digital payment solutions due to the global lockdowns, the startup has extended its card payment acceptance capabilities, and launched a slew of new products including virtual multi-currency debit cards in collaboration with Visa, a bank feed integration with accounting software Xero, and a rewards program, the press statement noted.

 

“Across 2020, Airwallex has increased execution velocity in product innovation, infrastructure and coverage expansion – all while ensuring that it continues to deliver an outstanding customer experience,” Zhang added.

 

According to a PwC report, the demand for digital payment solutions has been accelerated by the global lockdowns as consumers move online and away from cash amid the movement restrictions and threat of infections. Moreover, B2C and C2B cross-border payments had declined in the first half of 2020 owing to the restrictions implemented on cross-border travel and trade.

 

However, as economies around the world are reopening, cross-border payments have bounced back to pre-COVID-19 levels. In Q3 2020, Airwallex increased its global customer base by over 50% and its net revenue more than doubled compared to the previous quarter, in ecommerce, digital, tech and logistics sectors, the press release stated.

 

According to Zhang, “A major shift in the way businesses operate from offline to online is something Airwallex predicted from our inception. However, 2020 has fast-tracked this transition in a way no one could have foreseen.”

 

This is because, customers and merchants are rapidly adopting digital payment methods and focussing on delivering digital experiences, and East Asian players are rapidly gaining market share, according to a Deloitte report.

 

Moreover, startups like Airwallex also play an important role in the World Bank’s efforts to bring down the cost of cross-border payments to 5%. As of Q4 2019, the average cost of international remittances stands at 6.82%, down from 10% over a decade ago.

 

Zhang added, “Businesses are now racing to embrace digital transformation at an unprecedented rate. We are more certain than ever that the digital economy is going to be the centre of the world’s economic structure.”

 

And, with its constant drive for innovation and the foresight to adapt to the evolving market needs, Airwallex has a solid foundation and is positioned to succeed, he added.

 

Header image courtesy of Airwallex

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