Airwallex founder launches VC fund Capital 49

Airwallex founder launches VC fund Capital 49

Airwallex co-founder and Capital 49 founder Jack Zhang.

After their global payments platform achieved a US$2.6 billion ($3.5 billion) valuation in March, the founders of Airwallex are turning their attention to new startups with the launch of venture capital fund Capital 49.

The new fund has already completed investments in two fintech firms, according to Airwallex, whose founders along with other investors will aim to raise US$200 million ($271 million) for investing in early stage, high-growth technology-enabled companies.

Industries under consideration include e-commerce, Software as a Service (SaaS), digital and technology, business services and enablers, and fintech.

A spokesperson for Airwallex, founded in Melbourne in 2015 and now headquartered in Hong Kong, said the scope of investments would be focused on companies within Airwallex's ecosystem, which is global in nature.

"As the fund has only just launched, we are unable predict the number of investments in Australia based or founded businesses," the spokesperson clarified.

Capital 49 founder and Airwallex co-founder and CEO Jack Zhang, says the team was excited to be sharing news about the new fund.

"As part of the fintech and start-up ecosystem, we have consistently observed that a clear technological advantage is incredibly important for a business to stand out from the competition," Zhang said.

"That is why we are committed to invest in and foster the growth of tech-enabled companies, particularly at a time where there is huge appetite for innovative solutions to enhance business efficiencies."

While the fund was set up by Zhang, all the Airwallex co-founders - Max Li, Lucy Liu and Xijing Dai - have invested into Capital 49.

(L-R) Airwallex co-founders Xijing Dai, Jack Zhang, Lucy Liu and Max Li.

After announcing a capital raising of US$100 million ($135 million) in a Series D extension in March, Airwallex had lifted its total funds raised to US$500 million ($678 million) and now has more than 800 employees across 12 global offices.

That round was led by US-based Greenoaks, known for its investments such as Deliveroo and Stripe.

Grok Ventures, the investment vehicle of Atlassian founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes, also participated in the round along with ANZi Ventures and Skip Capital, the latter founded and led by Kim Jackson and her husband, Atlassian's other founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar.

The company recently announced the rollout of its online payment solution in Hong Kong and Australia, as well as the launch of its Airwallex Borderless Cards for businesses in Hong Kong.

"As an organisation, Airwallex could not have achieved what it has today if not for the players within our ecosystem," Zhang said.

"With this fund, we will continue to empower businesses to grow without borders by providing them access to capital, a global network and deep insights and expertise, while ensuring we continue to generate financial returns for our investors."

In just two years, Airwallex nearly tripled its valuation, following the company's unicorn status during its successful Series C fundraising in March 2019.

 

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