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Visa Mulls Airwallex Stake

Visa Mulls Airwallex Stake

(27 July 2022 – Hong Kong) Visa is deliberating on an extension of Fintech start-up Airwallex’s latest US$150 million funding round.

The Tencent Holdings backed start-up is seeking to raise up to US$150 million in an extension to its series E round. Discussions are ongoing and Airwallex and Visa haven’t reached agreement yet. Other existing investors could also participate in the round and the valuation will hold at US$5.5 billion based on previous fundraising estimates.

Visa has been expanding its card-based push payments platform, Visa Direct, by partnering with global fintechs such as Paysend and Veem. Visa already acquired Currencycloud in Q2 2021, an API-based cross-border payments start-up. As payment flows become more globalised, investments in cross-border payments tech can help increase Visa’s revenue potential noting cross-border payments are on track to reach US$156 trillion globally in 2022 according to EY estimates.

While major banks invest in the space, smaller fintechs like Airwallex are becoming increasingly popular among business customers thanks to their competitive costs and digital capabilities which make them more agile and user-friendly.

Airwallex previously raised US$100 million from investors including Lone Pine Capital and Sequoia Capital China in November, taking total fundraising in the series E round to about US$300 million. Founded in 2015 by the owners of a Melbourne coffee shop, Airwallex provides services including cross-border end-to-end payments and collection solutions for customers. It has more than 1,000 employees in 19 offices in countries including China, Australia, Japan, the US and the UK, according to its website.

The company has raised almost US$800 million, counts DST Global and Mastercard among its backers and is considering an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years. No final decisions have been made and details could still change noting representatives for Airwallex and Visa declined to comment.

“Businesses tell us they have been deterred from reaching their full potential in this market due to the complexity of making international payments or trading across borders. By providing local businesses with a single global financial platform, we aim to empower them to scale successfully, which is especially critical in this current economic environment” said Airwallex ANZ Head of Growth, Sam Kothari.

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