Cross-border payment startup raises more capital
(15 December 2017 – Australia) Australian-based cross-border payments fintech firm AirWallex, has raised an additional A$8 million from venture capitalists Square Peg Capital, who joins the ranks of MasterCard and Chinese internet giant Tencent in backing the company.
The startup, which provides a platform for businesses that combines payments and foreign exchange transfers into a single transaction, has raised a total of A$30 million since its launch in 2015.
AirWallex has white-label partnerships with Tencent and Mastercard, powering the latter's "Send" product for cross-border payments.
Co-founder, Jack Zhang said Square Peg would also be a strategic investor, given the manager's knowledge of online marketplaces, which already feature heavily among the 30 clients using AirWallex's application programming interface (API), and fit its target market of businesses that must process large volumes of low-value, cross-border payments.
"When I was studying at Melbourne Uni in the mid-2000s I saw Paul give a talk about co-founding Seek and that really inspired me into entrepreneurship," Zhang told the Australian Financial Review.
"It will be good to have an investor in Melbourne that I can call on for advice."
Square Peg’s co-founder, Paul Bassat said AirWallex was similar to Irish payments firm Stripe, which reduces costs and barriers to entry for small e-commerce businesses.
"AirWallex has got a completely different set of customers, like online marketplaces or travel agents which are processing these payments at scale, but they have a similar API-led approach to the big problem they are solving," Bassat said.
Zhang added that Square Peg's investment would allow AirWallex, which employs 65 people including 40 in Melbourne, to focus on growth for longer before needing to raise a Series B.
AirWallex's is targeting A$20 million revenue in 2017-18.