Can Airwallex Become the Transferwise Of International B2B Money Transfer?

A new Melbourne, Australia based Fintech startup that has echoes of peer-to-peer money transfer service Transferwise but with more focus on the B2B market, has completed a USD$13 million Series A investment from Tencent, the company that owns China’s most popular social networking and now payments app, WeChat.

Tencent led the investment round into Airwallex, but were also joined by Silicon Valley based Sequoia Capital, one of the most prestigious and oldest VC investors, Mastercard, and several other unnamed backers.

Airwallex, founded in 2016 and led by CEO Jack Zhang, targets businesses, giving them a platform from which to make international payments at lower rates than are traditionally offered in the market, with more transparency and lower fees, and greater convenience for the user.

Zhang has revealed that, similarly to Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrickus, who started the company after being piqued by the fees he was charged to send money from his home in London to country of origin Estonia, he was inspired to found Airwallex after ordering a shipment of paper cups and being “shocked at how badly we were getting fleeced on the foreign exchange rate and fees”.

After raising a $3 million seed round last year, the company, which makes a profit by taking a small percentage fee for each transaction it carries out, but may consider a mass-payout in the future, has quickly built up a large user base.

Says Zhang: We’ve made settlement and reconciliation very easy but our customers can also enjoy institutional FX prices to save a lot of money”.

“We can access the most competitive pricing in the world to facilitate traditional retailers that don’t enjoy that sort of rate.”

The beauty of this most recent investment round is that it will give Airwallex access to Tencent’s WeChat Pay platform, giving it the ability to reach millions of businesses looking for alternative ways to move money abroad. This has become a hot topic in China, where the government are cracking down on international money transfers by businesses, to try to encourage firms to invest more domestically.

“It makes sense to take strategic investment from Tencent because the WeChat ecosystem and WeChat Pay is a big deal”, says Zhang; “the internationalization will be interesting in the next couple of years, so we want to prepare ourselves for that expansion.”


The Money Cloud View

This is clearly a huge win for Airwallex. Being part of the WeChat Pay platform is the holy grail for companies in Asia, and indeed, as the service begins making inroads there, Europe and the rest of the world. There is no other service quite like WeChat, where so much can be accomplished in-app.

Let’s see if Airwallex can deliver on their promises to offer best in class foreign exchange rates and fees. If they do, we may even consider inviting them to join The Money Cloud’s comparison platform!

Comparison tool

Sending Currency
Buying Currency
Send USD Receive

Latest Articles

V Piccciani

Everything went great. The money is in the account in Brazil exactly the amount we agreed, very fast and safe, thank you very much for the service

J Abrahams

I sold some artwork in New York and needed to get my funds back to the UK. I saved over £12,000 over the quote given by my bank
Paying for your overseas tuition fees in foreign currency


Overseas university or secondary school tuition and living expenses are not only expensive but also currency conversion takes large portion of your budgeted funds for your child's studies. We show you how you can make the most of the money you are investing in your child’s future.

France property


When purchasing a property in France, we explain all the steps involved in the purchase. We can demonstrate how to make the most of your money when making the international payments to cover the purchase price and associated costs and how to avoid exchange rate risks.

Market Insights

Sign up for our newsletter.

Thank You for subscribing to our Newsletter

You have successfully signed up to our Newsletter