Airwallex joins a handful of Australian startups, including Atlassian, Canva and Greensill, to reach this milestone, just three years after it was founded.

The term ‘unicorn’ refers to startups which are valued at more than US$1 billion.

The Series C fundraising was led by DST Global, which was a primary investor in global tech giants Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify and fintech leaders Nubank and Robinhood.

Investors from previous funding rounds - including Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Gobi Partners, Horizons Ventures and Square Peg Capital - returned for the Series C capital raising.

It follows a Series B fundraising round of US$80 million in July 2018.

The company has eight offices around the world, with one in Melbourne where it has a team of 60. Photo: Airwallex
The company has eight offices around the world, with one in Melbourne where it has a team of 60. Photo: Airwallex

Airwallex will use the new capital to boost its international collection and payment products, as well as to enter markets in the US, UK, Europe and southeast Asia.

Founded in 2015, the company facilitates cross-border payments for businesses by combining payment collection, foreign exchange and local payment distribution.

Customers can create international bank accounts with local bank details in 50 different currencies, access interbank exchange rates and send money to more than 130 countries.

Airwallex, now headquartered in Hong Kong, has expanded to eight offices employing more than 260 people, with total capital raised at more than US$200 million.

Its clients include internet giants, Tencent and Ctrip, and major financial service companies including MasterCard.

“We started Airwallex because we knew there was a better way to make global payments,” said Airwallex chief executive officer and co-founder Jack Zhang.

“Airwallex is proud to free businesses from many of the traditional barriers that have made international transactions so difficult.

“Our mission is to build a worldwide, technology-driven financial infrastructure that will help our customers - including marketplaces, online sellers and SMEs - grow their businesses globally.”

The funds will also be used to continue product development, with an emphasis on growing services for marketplaces, online sellers and SMEs.

Tom Stafford, managing partner of DST Global, said Airwallex has built a tech-focused payments network that is “reliable, cost-effective and provides data transparency” - a platform seeing demand from the growing e-commerce industry.

Cover Photo: Airwallex was founded in 2015 by Xijing Dai, Lucy Liu, Jack Zhang, Max Li and Ki-Lok Wong (not pictured). (Photo: Airwallex)