Jul 5th 2016
Melbourne fintech startup Airwallex has strengthened its Melbourne and Chinese development teams and accelerated R&D of its international payments platform following a US$3 million pre-Series A investment round led by Shanghai-based VC Gobi Partners.
Gravity VC as well as angel investors Huashan Capital One also participated in the fundraising.
Currently in beta trial stage, the Airwallex platform is powered by a peer-to-peer algorithmic engine that enables businesses to issue and pay invoices in their preferred currency at the mid-market foreign exchange rate, avoiding inflated bank margins and minimising currency fluctuation risks.
Airwallex Co-Founder and CEO, Jack Zhang - a former ANZ and NAB foreign exchange solution designer - said the growth in international e-commerce, travel and import/export trade meant there was huge market potential for their simple and secure all-in-one solution.
"Current cross-border payment processes are expensive, clunky and time consuming. It can take days for the money to reach its destination and the transfer and foreign exchange fees are excessive and often prohibitive to SMEs," Zhang said.
"Airwalllex breaks down these barriers to empower businesses to build stronger global trading partnerships and truly tackle the world stage."
Airwallex plans to use the funds raised to further develop its proprietary technology stack and roll out key features over the next few months, including a multi-currency digital wallet and APIs for e-commerce platforms.
Michael Zhu, Managing Partner at Gobi Partners said: "With cross-border consumption booming in Asia, demand for foreign exchange is higher than ever. Meanwhile, traditional forex channels remain slow, expensive and inefficient. There is a real need for innovation in the sector and Airwallex has created the perfect solution."
"The Airwallex team has more than a decade of experience in the banking and foreign exchange sector across Australia, China and Hong Kong. They've built an impressive platform and I believe they have the potential to truly disrupt the current cross-border payment ecosystem."
About Gobi Partners
Founded in 2002, Gobi Partners is a leading venture capital firm with an investment focus on early-stage, digital media, IT and TMT companies. Headquartered in Shanghai, Gobi has six offices across China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The firm has raised eight funds to date, and has invested in over 140 portfolio companies across China and ASEAN.
About Gravity VC
As an early TMT sector fund, Gravity Venture Capital is co-founded by Dai Joey, managing partner of CA Venture, and by Lu Yi, the cofounder of Sina Weibo. Initiated in 2013, it raised around RMB 100 million in funds during the first round and invested in 24 early stage internet businesses. Currently the second-round solicitation of contributions is ongoing. Gravity aims to create a venture partner brand of Chinese entrepreneurs by making full use of domestic and foreign internet resources, and comprehensively engage in early internet businesses.
Airwallex is a financial technology company that offers integrated solutions for business and personal cross-border transactions. We facilitate international money transfers through a combination of payment collection, foreign exchange, remittance and security settlement. Supported by high profile investors including Gobi Partners and Gravity VC, Airwallex brings extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region to the global multi-currency market.
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