Australian unicorn Airwallex said to seek $200m in fresh funding

Photo: Airwallex

Australia’s Airwallex group is seeking about $200 million in a series D equity funding round to bankroll its cross-border payments business globally, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is valued at about $1.5 billion pre-money, said the people, who requested not to be named because the matter is private. The startup is talking with a strategic international financial company to lead its latest round, one of the people said.

Airwallex said in an emailed statement that it was in the process of raising funds, but declined to comment further.

Started in a Melbourne coffee shop in 2015, the company has attracted backers including Tencent Holdings Ltd., DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital Management Ltd. and Mastercard Inc. Airwallex was co-founded by Jack Zhang, the current chief executive officer, along with co-founders Lucy Liu, Jacob Dai and Max Li.

It helps clients settle payments when their users spend money overseas.

Airwallex primarily works with business clients such as merchants in China, enabling them to receive overseas payments in local currency within hours. Clients can use its service to open foreign currency accounts in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Australia.

Customers include Tencent’s WeChat, e-commerce site JD.com Inc and online learning platform 51Talk, the company said. It has 400 employees across 10 offices around the world.

Airwallex said it has raised over $200 million in venture funding to date. It was valued at more than $1 billion in March last year, based on the previous funding round.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.