Aussie Crypto Unicorn Raises $160M With ‘Big Four’ Bank Backing

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Australian fintech unicorn and RippleNet member, Airwallex, raised $160 million in a fundraising round led by the investment arms of Australian ‘big four’ bank, ANZ, and San Francisco-based cloud software company, Salesforce.

Existing investors Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, DST Global, and Horizons Ventures also participated in the round — bringing the total raised to-date by the cross-border payments platform to $362 million as of April 16.

Aussie fintech unicorn raises $160 million

Airwallex will direct the funds into expanding its global footprint, with Europe and the United States among its next target markets. Airwallex also launched offices in Tokyo, Bangalore, and Dubai last year.

In March 2019, Airwallex received a $1 billion valuation — ranking it as Australia’s second unicorn alongside graphic design firm, Canva. Australia is currently home to three unicorns, with aerial imagery company, Nearmap, recently joining the list.

Ron Spector, ANZi Ventures managing director, stated that the bank is “look[ing] forward to working further with the team to support their vision of building a next-generation digital payments platform for SMBs and enterprises globally.”

Airwallex grew out of a cafe owned by the company’s co-founders in Melbourne’s Docklands. After struggling to find an efficient way to pay exporters in Hong Kong and China for coffee cups in 2015, the pair teamed up with three friends from Melbourne University to launch the startup.

RippleNet expands global network

Airwallex’s raise comes amid an increasing global expansion of RippleNet.

On April 15, Ripple announced a partnership with Malaysian payments firm, MoneyMatch. The firm now offers cross-border remittance to over 120 countries through RippleNet.

On April 9, Thailand’s oldest financial institution, Siam Commercial Bank, launched a partnership with digital payments company, Azimo, to offer near-instant international remittances using RippleNet.

Despite great excitement regarding Ripple’s partnership with leading Mexican remittance platform Intermex, a March earnings call revealed that the firm will only use RippleNet to service new markets.