Airwallex is Australia’s latest unicorn

Airwallex is Australia’s latest unicorn

A three-year-old payments start-up has become Australia’s latest “unicorn” company with a valuation of $US1 billion.

Fintech start-up Airwallex has become Australia’s latest “unicorn” company with a $US100 million ($A140m) fundraising that values the payments transfer provider at more than $US1 billion.

The Series C fundraising round was led by DST Global, which has invested in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify.

The capital will be used to expand Airwallex’s international collection and payment products, and to support expansion into the US, UK, Europe and southeast Asia.

“We’re basically building a global financial infrastructure,” said chief executive Jack Zhang.

With a single know-your-customer check, an Airwallex client can open a local bank account in 50 different currencies, and instantly send and receive money internationally using lower interbank rates, Mr Zhang explained. Other international payment solutions charge as much as three or four per cent in currency fees.

Mr Zhang said the company’s Asia-Pacific business had increased five-to- eightfold this year, was transferring billions and looking to take on more small businesses as clients.

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