Home > News > Portfolio

Airwallex Closes Series B Fundraising with $80 M

3 JULY 2018, SHANGHAI: International payment company Airwallex today announced the successful completion of its Series B fundraising. The company has now secured $80 M in venture capital investments, taking their total fundraising to $102 M. To close the Series B round, existing Series A investors Tencent and Sequoia China were joined by fellow China-based firm Hillhouse, Sir Ka-Shing Li’s Horizons Ventures from Hong Kong, Indonesia’s Central Capital Ventura (BCA), and Australia’s Square Peg, with whom Airwallex partnered in December for their $6 M Series A+ round. Airwallex also previously received a Pre-Series A investment of $3 M from Gobi Partners.

The retail payment landscape in China has seen rapid advances in recent years, with WeChat Pay and AliPay amongst a growing number of platforms that have become an integral prat of the payment ecosystem. However, the same level of innovation has not materialized within the B2B international payment space, where payment infrastructure has fallen behind. As a result, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are still reliant on wire transfer as the default way to send money.

The challenges faced by enterprises include high costs, a lack of fee transparency, slow processing times, and inconsistent delivery amounts. Through the building of advanced technology, Airwallex is committed to providing smart and seamless cross-border payment solutions that will effectively reimagine the international payments landscape.

Built to service the increasing demand for foreign exchange payments around the world, the Airwallex platform is powered by a sophisticated FX and payment engine with a transparent pricing model that helps clients avoid inflated margins and minimize market risk. The company has partnered with more than 50 banks globally, including ICBC Bank, Bank of East Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, and DBS, to optimize payment routes and in turn increase the efficiency of cross-border payments. To date, their payment network covers more than 130 countries and supports more than 50 currencies, with APAC at the core of this network. Via suite of API products, Airwallex also enables organizations to automate the entire process, from collection to FX, and settlement to payment.

“With the completion of our Series B round, we are now more confident that we will be able to fulfil our long-term goals, and we will continue to deliver exceptional end-to-end payment solutions to businesses that need them the most. By offering fast, cost-effective services with global reach, we not only help businesses to streamline their processes, but also to remove the barriers that can prevent them from competing in international markets,” said Co-founder and CEO of Airwallex, Jack Zhang.

The cross-border payment market in China represents an enormous opportunity which benefits Airwallex through a combination of the following data points:

  1. The rapid growth of cross-border e-commerce – with the next wave of growth reaching RMB9 T;
  2. The increasing demand for small volume, high frequency transactions that goes beyond the existing capabilities of wire transfers;
  3. The increasing needs of industries that are servicing global markets such as online travel and education.

Airwallex’s products are tailored to meet the needs of the market. Their new Local Currency Account (LCA) product was specifically designed to provide businesses with access to faster and more cost-effective payments, thereby ensuring smoother and more streamlined operations. The LCA product has seen strong interest and uptake, with early adoption by platforms such as JD.com, which has implemented it for their worldwide operations.

Investors Tencent and Sequoia China have demonstrated strong confidence in the company’s ability to change how the world does business with the region by participating once again in Airwallex’s latest round of fundraising.

“As the pace and connectivity of the digitalized global economy continues to accelerate, the need to focus on foreign exchange and payments has become critically important for large corporates and SMEs,” said Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia China. “We believe that Airwallex’s continuous efforts to provide seamless solutions for this problem is eliminating the obstacles, effectively giving their clients a clear advantage in a hyper-competitive global market.”

Airwallex aspires to reach the level of other major players such as Adyen, a cross-border payment startup that services the European and US markets; the company recently completed an IPO this June, and currently boasts a market value of $14 B.

In addition to their ongoing investment in the Chinese market, Airwallex plans to use the funding to expand its global footprint by solidifying connections between APAC, Europe, and North America. Adding on to their dedicated entities in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Melbourne, they are now expanding to North America and Canada, proving their commitment to supporting companies in those markets in their efforts to accelerate their connections with China and the rest of the world.

In response to Announcement No. 7, which was recently issued by PBOC, Airwallex has expressed great interest in applying for an electronic payment licence. The company will also be applying for a Virtual Bank Licence in Hong Kong to meet the cross-border payment needs of SMEs, encouraging financial inclusion for them within the Hong Kong market.