Fintech giant Airwallex breaks into New Zealand

Fintech giant Airwallex breaks into New Zealand

Airwallex ANZ head of growth Sam Kothari (Provided)

Three months after launching in Malaysia, global payments platform Airwallex is continuing to accelerate its footprint in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region as it rolls out its offering in New Zealand today.

The Melbourne-founded company, which is valued at $7.6 billion, also expanded into Singapore at the start of this year after running a beta trial in the city-state in November 2021.

Since launching seven years ago, Airwallex has become one of the fastest-growing Australian fintech companies, employing more than 1,200 people and operating across 19 locations worldwide.

The company’s latest debut allows New Zealand businesses to access international payment collection, multi-currency wallets in more than 11 currencies, and local payouts in 30-plus currencies. Additional features such as multi-currency company and employee cards, spend management and online payment acceptance capabilities will be progressively rolled out.

Airwallex ANZ head of growth Sam Kothari says today’s launch is a huge opportunity for Kiwi businesses to broaden their reach into international markets.

“We are so pleased to be extending our services to New Zealand, a natural next step after establishing a strong presence in our home market of Australia,” Kothari said.

“Our entry into the New Zealand market is something our customers have been requesting for some time; businesses tell us they have been deterred from reaching their full potential in this market due to the complexity of making international payments or trading across borders.

“By providing local businesses with a single global financial platform, we aim to empower them to scale successfully, which is especially critical in this current economic environment.”

Based in Hong Kong, Airwallex offers a suite of application programming interface (API) software for businesses to accept online payments, manage funds and launch financial products globally.

In November 2021, the company said it spent its third quarter scaling the business across APAC and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), and launched its virtual employee cards in Hong Kong and the UK.

The move came after Airwallex raised $275 million in an oversubscribed Series E round led by Lone Pine Capital, which helped fund the company's rapid expansion plans. 

In July 2018, Airwallex also made its push into North America following a $108 million Series B raise which received backing from Tencent, Sequoia China, Hillhouse, Horizons Ventures, Central Capital Ventura and Square Peg.

At the time, the company had five global offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Melbourne.

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