X-Border Payments Startup Banks $3M

Airwallex FinTech Startup Funding

Australian FinTech startup Airwallex secured $3 million in its pre-Series A funding round, led by Alibaba’s venture capital fund manager, Gobi Partners, ZDNet reported on Tuesday (July 5).

The firm said its new capital will be used to grow its development teams in both Melbourne and China, while also fueling research and development efforts within its cross-border payments platform.

It also confirmed the fund will help to advance the technology stack of its payments platform, as well as deliver newer features, such as a multi-currency digital wallet and eCommerce APIs.

Airwallex said its platform is designed to helps businesses avoid many of the risks that come with cross-border payments, such as inflated bank margins and currency fluctuation.

“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,” Airwallex Cofounder and CEO Jack Zhang told ZDNet.

“Airwalllex breaks down these barriers to empower businesses to build stronger global trading partnerships and truly tackle the world stage.”

With the growth of global eCommerce, travel and import and export trade businesses on the rise, Zhang explained that there is a huge market potential for cross-border payments solutions.

The spike in global FinTech funding may be an indication that investors are taking notice of the disruption and influence these startups can bring.

Earlier this year, data showed that Asia has seen $4.5 billion come into its financial startups from investors across a variety of stripes, which is quadruple the investment activity of a year ago, Reuters reported. That means the region is becoming a sweet spot for FinTech investment.

The global investment activity in the space stood at $19.1 billion, as measured across payment companies, internet insurers and peer-to-peer players, and the tally as of March 2016 had grown by 60 percent over 2014, Reuters reported.