Li Ka-shing and Tencent-backed Airwallex’s valuation swells to US$5.5 billion after latest funding round

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Airwallex, the fintech unicorn backed by Tencent Holdings and tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, said its valuation soared to US$5.5 billion following its latest oversubscribed round of fundraising.

The company raised US$100 million in its Series E1 funding, which was led by Lone Pine Capital and included investments from 1835i Ventures and Sequoia Capital China.

Airwallex raised another US$200 million in Series E funding in September. It has raised more than US$802 million to date.

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“Our record performance last quarter demonstrates the tremendous demand from customers who are seeking better solutions to operate their businesses,” said Jack Zhang, Airwallex’s co-founder and CEO.

“As we approach our sixth anniversary, we want to continue to connect entrepreneurs, business builders, and makers with opportunities in every corner of the world,” he added. “This new capital injection will allow us to do just that, fuelling M&A opportunities that will accelerate our global expansion plans, pursuing our mission to empower businesses to grow without borders.”

Airwallex, which was founded in Melbourne in 2015, has seen its value more than double in the past eight months. It was valued at US$2.6 billion after a Series D round in March.

Its other financial backers include San Francisco-based Greenoaks Capital, Australia’s Grok Ventures and Horizons Ventures, Li’s venture that focuses on disruptive technology and start-ups.

As part of its recent expansion, the company has hired more than 200 staff members and now employs more than 1,000 people in 19 locations globally.

Its revenue rose by 150 per cent in the third quarter, with annualised revenue exceeding US$100 million, the company said.

The company’s products include business accounts, virtual payment cards and platforms that accept online payments and treasury management.

Airwallex began offering services in the United States as part of its North American expansion in August. It also received an electronic money institution licence in the Netherlands in May, a money services business licence in Malaysia in September and a major payment institution licence in Singapore this month.

In June, the company teamed up with Visa to offer a “borderless” virtual card for businesses in Hong Kong.

“Airwallex’s achievements in the last quarter alone showcase the strength of the company’s business model and its unique ability to meet their customers’ evolving needs in a competitive digital payments market,” said David Craver, Lone Pine Capital’s co-chief investment officer. “The future is bright for Airwallex, and we look forward to helping its team unlock greater growth opportunities as it continues to expand globally.”

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