Former Westpac exec's fintech mx51 raises $25m

Former Westpac exec's fintech mx51 raises $25m

mx51 founder and former Westpac executive Victor Zheng. 

A payment solutions fintech taking on the likes of global competitors Stripe, Tyro and Square has raised $25 million in a Series A round, with expectations it will grow total processed volumes to $10 billion within the next 12 months.

Bank-grade payments technology company mx51 spun out of Assembly Payments in May 2020, and since then it has processed more than $1 billion in transactions, due in part to a Westpac partnership that has helped it secure merchants including Lune Croissanterie, the Salvation Army and Carla Zampatti.

Founded by former Westpac (ASX: WBC) executive and former Assembly Payments co-CEO Victor Zheng, mx51 is now in the process of closing partnerships with more major Australian financial institutions.

The funds from the raise led by Acorn Capital, Artesian, Commencer Capital and Mastercard are expected to help mx51 rapidly expand in Australia and also build out further functionality for the platform, which markets itself as "obsessed with the merchant experience".

The startup is also aiming to become the first true multi-channel payments platform whereby merchants can seamlessly take payments across in-store and online channels.

As part of its growth trajectory, mx51 is aiming to grow its headcount by 30% this year adding to its team of product, engineering and operations professionals.

"mx51 is helping Australian banks and acquirers, who are the backbone of our financial services sector, compete with a myriad of nimble overseas competitors who are muscling in on the payments sector," says Zheng, who was previously head of payments and head of transaction banking & deposits at Westpac Group.

"We're able to partner closely and quickly with major financial institutions as we designed the platform to be bank-grade from inception. The size of our first ever round speaks for itself in terms of how bullish we are about rapidly rolling out our platform across Australia.

"Our partnership with Westpac has been a fantastic incubator for the product, and now we are in advanced discussions around expanding to other financial services institutions across Australia."

Backers from the Series A round have given the startup glowing praise along with their capital.

"We have always been impressed with the team at MX51 and excited about their vision and passion for enhancing the payments ecosystem in Australia," says Acorn investment director James Douglas.

"We believe that MX51 will be a key pillar of the Australian payments landscape - and in the long term a key part of the global payments ecosystem.

"Artesian's foundation in banking and FinTech enabled us to identify mx51 as a future global player in the payments space. We are thrilled to support the company on their journey as they partner with more financial institutions in their push to scale," adds Artesian managing director Luke Fay.

Commencer Capital David Phillips says this round of investment will help facilitate the rapid expansion of the mx51 offering across Australian financial institutions, providing a new standard in merchant and consumer payments.

"Our investment aligns with the Commencer's philosophy of investing in businesses with high growth potential backed by strong founders," says Phillips.

"mx51 joined Mastercard's global fintech accelerator program Start Path in 2020. Seeing a homegrown business like mx51 poised for rapid acceleration is a great moment for the local fintech community," adds Mastercard's vice president for fintech Australasia, Kallan Hogan.

"It's an example of the innovation Australia has on offer, and Mastercard is proud to extend its local and global support to a fintech laser-focused on delivering integrated payment solutions for merchants," says Hogan.

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