Airwallex, A Cross-Border Fintech Unicorn

The latest fintech unicorn comes to us from Australia. Recently Airwallex, which aspires to be the global infrastructure technology for business payments, raised $100 million at a $1.0 billion valuation. Such valuation is not surprising considering the massive global market its solution addresses.

The Company offers an end-to-end solution for businesses making payments cross-border. It customers include online marketplaces, online sellers and small and medium sized businesses. Large well-known corporations such as, Tencent, Ctrip and MasterCard are using Airwallex.

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Moreover, the Company enables customers to move money programmatically on a worldwide scale. Core to its value proposition is enabling customers to generate a Global Accounts with local bank details almost instantaneously. Users can access interbank exchange rates and send money through domestic and international clearing networks to more than 130 countries.

Leading the funding round was DST Global, a highly reputable venture capital firm run by Yuri Milner, an Israeli-Russian entrepreneur. DST has backed tech successes such as Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify along with other fintech stars such as Robinhood and Nubank.

Existing investors also participated in the Series C Round – they include Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Gobi Partners, Horizons Ventures and Square Peg Capital.

Airwallex CEO and Co-founder Jack Zhang, stated, “We started Airwallex because we knew there was a better way to make global payments. Airwallex is proud to free businesses from many of the traditional barriers that have made international transactions so difficult. Airwallex mission is to build a worldwide, technology-driven financial infrastructure that will help our customers including marketplaces, online sellers and SMEs grow their businesses globally.”

Zhang founded the Company in 2015. Astoundingly he grew the company quickly to over 140 people in its first three years. He was born in Qingdao, China and went to Australia at the age of 15 to attend high school. He then went on to the University of Melbourne and after he graduated worked in investment banking in London, Hong Kong and Beijing. It was while he was at ANZ as a solution architect that he developed expertise in foreign exchange pricing, risk management and trading that aided him later when founding Airwallex.