Fintech startup, Airwallex has secured $US3 million in pre-Series A investment led by Shanghai-based venture capital firm, Gobi Partners.
The funds will be used towards strengthening Airwallex’s Melbourne and Chinese development teams as well as R&D in its international payments platform. In the next few months, it plans to add more features to the platform, including a multi-currency digital wallet and APIs for e-commerce platforms.
Gravity VC and angel investors Huashan Capital One and EasyLink Payments CEO, Billy Tam, also took part in the fundraising.
The Airwallex platform, which is currently in beta mode, is 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.
Airwallex co-founder and CEO, Jack Zhang, said the growth in international e-commerce, travel and import/export trade meant there was huge market potential for their secure all-in-one solution.
Zhang previously worked for ANZ and NAB as a foreign exchange solution designer.
“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.”
Gobi Partners managing partner, Michael Zhu, said there was a real need for innovation in the traditional foreign exchange sector.
"With cross-border consumption booming in Asia, demand for foreign exchange is higher than ever,” he said.
“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."