March 26th, 2019 /EqualOcean/ - Airwallex (空中云汇), an Australia-based and Hong Kong-headquartered cross-border payment platform, announced today that it has completed Series C round funding of USD 100 million. The new round was led by DST Global (DST). In total, Airwallex has financed more than USD 202 million. After this round, its valuation is expected to be higher than USD 1 billion.
Jack ZHANG, the founder and CEO of Airwallex, said fund raised from this round will be used to help Airwallex expand globally (the US, UK and south-east Asian markets), attract more small-to-medium business clients and invest more on R&D.
Airwallex started in Melbourne in 2015, within four years it has become the unicorn in Fintech industry. Surely there is something it did better compare to its peers. The following article will analyze what it has done well so far.
Finding the right backers
From the funding information shown above, it can be easily concluded that Airwallex tended to collaborate with the top investors in the industry.
ZHANG explained the reason for them to choose DST was its long-term goal oriented attitude - growing businesses for now and thinking about profits later. He also noted that the current priority is to do the international expansion and the expertise from DST could positively contribute to this priority.
“We talked to a number of global funds we found interesting but we picked DST because our biggest priority is international expansion and [the firm will] help us opening doors and going after larger opportunities," ZHANG said.
In addition, DST has invested in internet giants such as Facebook, Airbnb, and Spotify etc. In the Fintech field, it has invested in the following companies:
In summary, finding the right backers is not only about money, but also if their goals are aligned with each other, backers' network resources and past experiences, or possible synergies could be considered.
More transparency on financing info
Airwallex is an unlisted company meaning it does not have an obligation to disclose its funding information. However, it did disclose the exact amount.
By doing so, it could enhance its reputation among investors and attract new interested investors.
Services, Employees & Customers
In essence, Airwallex helps business clients to manage revenue and finances in different currencies.
How it works: setting up overseas accounts when clients want to pay payments overseas. Converting revenues in foreign currencies into local currency ones can also be done easily on the Airwallex system.
Features: cheaper and easier. Since forex will be converted at a mid-market rate via inter-bank exchanges, as much as 90 percent costs can be saved. Clients can do the exchanges on its system which has secured the partnerships with banks to facilitate overseas bank accounts opening processes and integrate payment services with clients' enterprise system via application programming interfaces (APIs).
Additional and upcoming services: 1) Global accounts in more than 50 countries 2) "Alpha", a team, will help clients to grow overseas eg. connecting investors and networks 3)upcoming: credit card issuance & trying to obtain banking licenses in certain markets.
Airwallex has 8 offices worldwide and more than 260 staff. All the members from its core team are from leading companies such as JP Morgan, BCG, Google, Tencent etc. Its CEO and COO has worked for NAB&ANZ, two Australian banks, and CICC, the leading investment bank in China. 45% of its current team members are technology related staff, says 36kr.
It targets business clients instead of individual clients. Previously it targeted internet companies and gradually shifting to small-to-medium clients. Its large enterprise clients include Mastercard, JD.com and Tencent, says the Australian Financial Review.
Overall, the cheaper rate and easier to use functions (either through tech innovation or bank partnerships) will make it more attractive. The additional and upcoming services will further generate positive expectations for Airwallex.