Three-year-old fintech start-up Airwallex has raised US$100 million (AU$141 million) in Series C round, valuing the company at over US $1 billion.

Founded in Melbourne in 2015, Airwallex has now raised more than US$200 million to date, including an US$80 million (AU$102 million) Series B round midway through last year.

The current round was led by DST Global, which has previously backed internet giants Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify, and fintech Robinhood.

Now headquartered in Hong Kong, the company has eight offices worldwide and employs around 260 people.

The company’s technology is used by businesses to enable low-cost, high-speed and transparent international payments. With Airwallex, customers can create international bank accounts, access interbank exchange rates and send money through local and international clearing networks to more than 130 countries.

Participants from Airwallex’s previous rounds including Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Gobi Partners, Horizons Ventures and Square Peg Capital, returned for the Series C fundraising.

Pictured above are the four Airwallex founders, Xijing Dai (CTO) Jack Zhang (CEO), Lucy Liu (President), and Max Li (Product Architect).

The cash will be used to accelerate international expansion into the US, UK/Europe and Southeast Asia and to continue product development.

“We started Airwallex because we knew there was a better way to make global payments,” said Airwallex CEO and Co-founder Jack Zhang.

“Airwallex is proud to free businesses from many of the traditional barriers that have made international transactions so difficult. Our 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.”

Tom Stafford, managing partner of DST Global, said, “The growing ecommerce industry needs a technology-focused payments network that is reliable, cost-effective and provides data transparency. Airwallex has built such a network and we are excited to partner with Jack and the team as they continue to grow their business”.

LaunchVic CEO, Dr Kate Cornick congratulated Airwallex on the raise, which earned the company unicorn status.

“Victoria’s startup ecosystem is growing at 23 per cent per annum and is now, following the exciting announcement from Airwallex, home to seven unicorns – more than any other state in Australia,” Cornick said.

“Led by the investment of US venture capital firm DST Global, Airwallex’s success is another indicator that Victoria’s tech sector is growing from strength to strength. In Melbourne, it is estimated that the startup ecosystem has the potential to grow from $1.6 billion to more than $4 billion over the next few years. It’s disruptive startups like Airwallex that are turning this vision into a reality, providing significant economic gains for Victoria and Australia.”


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