startup, Airwallex has raised a total of $3.75 million in pre-launch Seed funding, according to Financial Review
. The round was led by Shanghai-based venture capital firm, Gobi partners in association with Gravity Ventures
which is secured over December 2015 and January 2016. Angel investors including Huashan Capital One
and Billy Tam, CEO, Easylink Payments
also participated in the funding round.
Airwallex which is currently in beta mode claims to use the funds to strengthen its Melbourne and Chinese development teams. Gearing for a lunch, it also eyes to foster R&D into its international payments platform. Currently the company is awaiting its Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) to provide digital financial services like low-cost foreign exchange and payments technologies to small and medium sized businesses.
Reportedly, the payment platform allows businesses issue and pay invoices in preferred currency at the mid-market foreign exchange rate to lessen inflated bank charges and currency fluctuation risks. And claims to use algorithms and big data analytics to offer one-in-all solution for foreign exchanges and transactions.
Jack Zhang, Co-founder and CEO, Airwallex, was quoted saying:
The first iteration of the technology platform is an adaptive desktop version, so it works on most phones and handheld devices. A dedicated mobile app is also in the pipeline. Long term obviously there are opportunities to go into other international markets but initially we will be focused on China and Hong Kong.
“Once the product is launched we are planning to launch a Series A fund-raising round, probably targeting $15 million to $20 million. That will probably kick-off in September,” he added.
Zhang who is a former Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB) foreign exchange solution designer believes that customers will be able to save up to 90 percent on the cost of foreign exchange transactions through Airwallex’s cross-border payment options.
Zhang, in an industry report, stated that previously it was only big banks and financial institutions that had access to foreign exchange deals at the interbank rate but consumers can now avail mid-market rate with algorithmic risk management engine in real time.
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.
Founded in 2015, Airwallex claims that it is further planning to add more features to its platform, including a multi-currency digital wallet and APIs for e-commerce platforms to compete with companies like Western Union
and Pay Pal