Major funding announcement shows strength of Australian-Asian fintech links
AUSTRALIAs fintech industry today welcomed news that major international investors, including from China, had backed a $US13 million capital raising for a Melbourne-based payments company.
FinTech Australian CEO Danielle Szetho said the announcement illustrated the strong and growing links between the Australian and Asian fintech environments.
Airwallex announced the Series A capital raise from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China and global card network Mastercard. Airwallex is headquartered in Melbourne and has offices in Hong Kong and China.
This is believed to be the largest Series A fund-raise for an Australian non-lending fintech company.
FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho said the capital raise was a great example of how Australian and Asian fintech businesses (particularly those in China) could work together for the mutual benefit of their economies.
“Australia has a thriving fintech scene which is backed by one of the most highly-regarded financial regulatory systems in the world,” she said.
“This means Australian fintech companies have a great reputation for producing innovative and trusted fintech products in areas such as wealth creation, peer-to-peer lending, payments and cyber security, along with taking advantage of blockchain technology.
“We think that international investors, particularly those from China, have a lot to gain from taking a close look at the Australian fintech environment and what it has to offer. In addition, we think Chinese consumers and businesses will increasingly get to know the major benefits of Australian fintech products.
“Were also excited to see that Chinese fintech firms are beginning to establish bases in Australia, given Australia’s world record for uninterrupted economic growth and the long-standing cultural links between the two countries.
As a market well known for its early adoption of technology and fintech-friendly by design regulation, Australia also represents a great test market for new Chinese fintechs looking to expand into western markets.
“Overall, the Airwallex funding round announcement is a strong marker of how the Australian and Chinese fintech industries can work together for mutual prosperity.”
The Airwallex funding announcement caps off a great start to 2017 for the Australian fintech scene. This includes:
- The KPMG Pulse of FinTech report published in late February which showed that investment in Australian fintech increased from $185 million to $656 million in 2016, defying a 47 per cent global slide.
- Australian cities Sydney and Melbourne both climbing up the financial centre world ranking table, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index published in late March. Sydney moved from 11 to eight, while Melbourne jumped from 24 to 21, out of more than 100 ranked centres.
- Deloittes Connecting Global FinTech: Interim Hub Review 2017 published in April ranking Sydney as the eighth strongest fintech hub in the world, out of 44 hubs, up from nine compared to the previous review.
More information about Australian fintech is available at www.fintechaustralia.org.au
Other examples of Australia-Asia fintech links
- The world’s largest ecommerce retailer Alibaba opening its Australian headquarters in Melbourne in February 2017
- Alibaba teaming up with Australia Post to fight counterfeit food fraud, potentially including blockchain, announced in March 2017
- Stone & Chalk’s incubation exchange program with Asian fintech companies, which launched last year
- An Austrade fintech mission to China involving eight Australian fintech companies held in March 2017
- Australia’s largest startup hub, Fishburners, expanding into Shanghai in August 2016
- The opening of Haymarket HQ, a Sydney innovation hub which seeks to connect Australian entrepreneurs and startups with Asia, opening in September 2016.
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About FinTech Australia
FinTech Australia is a national association for the Australian FinTech Startup community. Our vision is to make Australia the leading market for FinTech Innovation and Investment by working with both sides of Government, Industry and the Australian FinTech community to create a supportive environment and partner ecosystem in Australia and abroad.
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