Melbourne-based fintech start-up Airwallex has closed a $US80 million ($108 million) Series B round, the second-largest fundraising round in Australian start-up history, and the largest world-wide so far this year.
The round was led by Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings, with participation fromHorizons Ventures, Hillhouse Capital Group, Sequoia Capital China, Square Peg Capital, and Central Capital Ventura.
Founded in 2015 by Jack Zhang, Jacob Dai, and Lucy Yueting Liu, Airwallex facilitates cross-border transactions for businesses.
Much of the funds will be used to keep building Airwallex’s payments network, which includes an application programming interface for banks and businesses to connect to its ecosystem, and an algorithm which claims to route payments from sender to receiver in the cheapest and fastest way possible.
“When we first started, we wanted to build a solution that was compact, smart, and helped reduce the cost and improve efficiency of making payments,” co-founder and COO Lucy Yueting Liutold SmartCompany. “Now it’s more than that. We’re looking to use a partnership model to try to really build an end-to-end solution [to] help these businesses, and a lot of sub-traders to expand globally.”
In 2017 it raised $US19 million ($26 million) from the same investors, but it has now also added two more backers from China’s booming venture capital scene in Hillhouse Capital and Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, as well as Indonesia’s Central Capital Ventura. It takes Airwallex’s total fundraising to $US102 million ($138 million).