(Yicai Global) July 3 -- International payments company Airwallex today announced the successful completion of its Series B fundraising. The company has now secured USD80 million in venture capital investments, taking their total fundraising to USD102 million. To close the Series B round, existing Series A investors Tencent and Sequoia China were joined by fellow China-based 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 USD6 million Series A+ funding.
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 part 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. Enterprise to small and medium businesses are still reliant on wire transfer as the most common way to send money.
The challenges faced by enterprises include high costs, lack of fee transparency, slow processing times and inconsistent delivery amounts. Through building advanced technology, Airwallex is committed to providing smart and seamless cross-border payment solutions to effectively re-imagine 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 to help clients avoid inflated margins and minimize market risk. Airwallex partners with more than 50 banks around the world, including ICBC, Bank of East Asia, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS, to optimize payment routes and in turn increase cross-border payment efficiency. To date, their payment network covers more than 130 countries and supports more than 50 currencies, with Asia Pacific at the core of the network. Through a suite of API products, Airwallex enables organizations to automate the entire process from collection, FX, to settlement and payment.
"Upon the completion of Series B, we have more confidence to fulfill our long-term goal and we will continue to deliver exceptional end-to-end payment solutions to businesses who need them the most. By offering fast, cost-effective services with global reach, we not only help businesses streamline their processes, but 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. Airwallex sees the opportunity through a combination of the following data points:
1. The rapid growth of cross-border e-commerce - with the next wave of growth reaching CNY9 trillion;
2. The increased demand for small volume, high-frequency transactions going beyond the existing capability of wire transfers;
3. The increasing needs of industries 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) was specifically designed to provide access to faster and more cost-effective payments, ensuring smoother, more streamlined operations for any business using it. The LCA product has seen strong interest and uptake, with early adoption by platforms such as JD.com, where it has been implemented worldwide.
Tencent and Sequoia China have demonstrated strong confidence in the company's ability to change how the world does business with the region, by returning to again participate in Airwallex's fundraising.
"As the pace and connectivity of the digitalized global economy continue to rapidly 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 improvement in providing seamless solutions for this problem is eliminating the obstacle, effectively giving their clients a clear advantage in a hyper competitive global market."
Airwallex aspires to reach levels of other major players like Adyen, a cross-border payment startup which services the European & US market and recently completed an IPO this June, currently boasting a market value of USD14 billion.
In addition to their ongoing investment in the Chinese market, Airwallex plans to use the funding to expand its global footprint, solidify connections between APAC, Europe and North America. Adding to their dedicated entities in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Melbourne; they're now extending to North America, and Canada - proving they're committed to supporting companies throughout those markets to accelerate their connections with China and the rest of the world.
In response to the Announcement No. 7 issued by PBOC, Airwallex has expressed great interest in applying for electronic payment license. Airwallex will also apply 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.
Airwallex Airwallex is a financial technology company that offers integrated solutions for cross-border payments. Airwallex facilitates international money transfers through a combination of payment collection, foreign exchange and local payment distribution. Supported by high profile investors including Tencent, Sequoia China, MasterCard, Hillhouse, Horizons Ventures, Square Peg Capital and BCA's Central Capital Ventura, Airwallex brings extensive experience in the Asia Pacific to the global market.