On Monday 1st May, Airwallex staff members joined supporters, friends, investors and local politicians at Melbourne’s iconic Vue de Monde to celebrate one of the biggest Series A rounds in Australian history. Surrounded by breathtaking Melbourne city vistas from 55 floors up, the company toasted to the recent funding of USD $13M (AUD $17M) from Tencent,Sequoia Capital China, Mastercard and Gobi Partners after the funding announcement earlier that morning.
The cream of Melbourne’s fintech and business community mingled while dining on scallops and Airwallex-themed cocktails, amongst an ambience of live jazz from Melbourne-based musicians. There were also speeches held by local politicians and a panel with three representatives of Airwallex’s investors.
Our co-founder and leading investor admiring the view from the Vue de Monde terrace
The Victorian Minister for Trade and Innovation Philip Dalidakis introduced the evening’s proceedings and started with how pleased he was for Airwallex to have put joined the ranks of other big Victorian success stories and being the first major player from Victoria in the fintech space.
‘I can’t tell you how proud I am that Airwallex is a Victorian fintech startup, taking the world and beating it at it’s own game.’ Dalidakis commented.
‘I genuinely believe so much of what Airwallex can achieve with their product that they can join other companies like Seek, REA and Carsales to become another great Victorian unicorn story.’
Moreover, Dalidakis added how much faith he had in co-founders Jack and Lucy, and the potential they have to achieve together.
This was followed up by a speech by John Price, the commissioner of ASIC. He talked about the regulatory sandbox which has been hugely important for fintech startups like Airwallex to hit the ground running without the red tape. He commented, ‘We hope it will make international expansion as streamlined as possible.’
Jack Zhang introduced the guests to Airwallex’s latest API products which are in Beta and are set to facilitate thousands of transactions per second, which coincided with Airwallex’s new website and rebranding.
To round up the speeches our Head of Global Sales and Partnerships Joe McGuire headed up a Q+A with Cherry Zheng from Tencent, Steven Ji from Sequoia Capital China and Chibo Tang from Gobi Partners to share their insights on what made them believe in Airwallex.
The Q+A round with Joe McGuire, Cherry Zheng, Steven Ji and Chibo Tang
Gobi Partners, which began in China and expanded to SouthEast Asia 2010, were proud to announce Airwallex as their first Australian investment, and were excited to join the burgeoning Australian startup community.
Sequoia Capital China, who have previously invested in Google and over 300 companies in China, highlighted their interest in facilitating innovation in cross-border payments. They invested in Airwallex because of their keen interest in finding better ways to get real-time foreign exchange solutions.
Tencent, who is one of the largest internet service providers in China, and provide 800 million active users with games and financial services, believe payment is one of the most important infrastructures of their business.
Tencent already working alongside Airwallex, can see huge value in innovating in the payment ecosystem: their e-wallets, which have blown up in usage in the past year, demonstrate their keen interest in fintech. They believe that payment technology still has a long way to go, and have looked to startups such as Airwallex to disrupt the payments space. Cherry Zheng, Tencent’s representative, noted that her decision to invest in Airwallex was fueled by Airwallex’s potential to be a major disruptor and the strong team fronted by Jack Zhang and Lucy Liu.
Airwallex are proud of their achievements to be the first Australian company to be invested in by two Chinese technology giants, and moreover that their potential has been recognised by such pioneers in the technology industry.
Airwallex guests enjoying the festivities