Australia’s Airwallex raises $80m Series B from Tencent, Sequoia China, others

Australia-based fintech startup Airwallex has closed an $80-million Series B round from return backers Tencent and Sequoia China, and other investors, it said in a media statement.

The round — the largest raised by an Australian startup this year and believed to be the second-largest in the country — was joined by Hillhouse Capital, Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, Indonesia’s Central Capital Ventura and Australian VC Square Peg Capital. The financing for Airwallex eclipses the $45.46-million round raised by software firm SafetyCulture in May this year.

The latest round brings the startup’s aggregate funding to $102 million. It had last raised a $6-million Series A+ round in December 2017.

Founded in 2015, Airwallex offers solutions to conduct cross-border transactions and international money transfers via a combination of local payment collection, foreign exchange and distribution. The fresh capital will be used for global expansion, particularly in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, the Australian firm said.

“Our end-game is to provide the global network required for businesses to scale globally and take advantage of the digital and online opportunities that exist when you’re transacting in multiple markets,” said Airwallex co-founder and chief operating officer Lucy Liu.

Airwallex has been beefing up its team in Singapore, its first Southeast Asian market. “Luckily, within Singapore, there is an established pool of talent that is both experienced, savvy and local, who also align with our values of trailblazing new paths and no-limit thinking on what can be achieved for the entire category,” said Airwallex co-founder and CEO Jack Zhang.

In Hong Kong, another high priority market, the Australian firm will use the latest funding to cater to small and medium enterprises and to acquire a virtual banking licence.

Other neighbouring markets on its radar are Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Phillipines.

“We don’t have set timeframes for each [market] but work tirelessly to go as fast as we can because we see them all as emerging markets that have a growing demand for FX and payments solutions, with only limited or fractured solutions available to them currently,” Zhang said.

“As the pace and connectivity of the digitalized global economy continues to rapidly accelerate,the need to focus on foreign exchange and payments has become critically important for large corporates and 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,” said Sequoia Capital China founder and managing partner Neil Shen.

Also Read:

Australia: Airwallex closes $6m pre-Series B from Square Peg Capital

China: Tencent leads $13m Series A in Melbourne fintech startup Airwallex

Australia’s Airwallex raises $3m pre-Series A led by Gobi Partners

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.