Fintech unicorn Airwallex secures money services licence in Malaysia

Jack Zhang, Airwallex co-founder and CEO

Melbourne-founded payments unicorn Airwallex announced its official foray into Malaysia after securing a money services business licence from the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.

The licence will allow the fintech unicorn to offer international payment solutions for Malaysian businesses of all sizes from early 2022.

“Through the Airwallex platform, [Malaysian businesses] will have the ability to collect funds from customers across the globe in different currencies, convert, and pay out into preferred currencies,” Airwallex said in a statement.

The new licence also marks Airwallex’s entry into Southeast Asia, a market that has been in the company’s expansion plans. Malaysia now joins Airwallex’s key markets that include Australia, the UK, EU, US, and Hong Kong.

“With this new licence, Airwallex aims to replicate the success that it has achieved from servicing leading companies in other regions with businesses in Malaysia,” said Jack Zhang, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Airwallex was founded in Melbourne in 2015 by Chinese entrepreneur Zhang, along with co-founders Lucy Liu, Jacob Dai and Max Li, before moving its headquarters to Hong Kong in 2018.

The firm offers a global fintech payment platform that helps businesses manage payments, treasury, and expenses internationally, without the constraints of the traditional financial system.

It operates a team of over 900 employees across 12 global offices and is looking to fill hundreds of open roles.

As the pandemic accelerates the digitalisation of global businesses, Airwallex said that it continued the momentum of a “hypergrowth” in 2020, driven by “triple-digit revenue growth” in e-commerce, digital and technology, and logistics segments.

In March, it announced the completion of a further extended Series D round at $100 million, giving the company a $2.6-billion valuation.

In just two years, Airwallex has almost tripled its valuation from March 2019, when it announced a unicorn valuation of over $1 billion after a $100-million Series C round led by late-stage VC firm DST Global.

The cross-border fintech firm also set up a new early-stage venture capital fund called Capital 49 in July with a target corpus of $200 million from its founders and other investors.

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.