Story image

Major fintech funding round highlights importance of Asia-Australia connections

05 May 17

Bonds between the Australian and Asian fintech industry have just become stronger as major international investors injected US$13 million in a capital raising by a Melbourne-based payments company.

Airwallex held what is believed to be the biggest Series A capital raise for any Australian non-lending fintech company. Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China and Mastercard all backed the funding.

Danielle Szetho, FinTech Australia CEO, says Australia has a ‘thriving’ fintech scene and a strong financial regulatory system.

"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,” she says.

"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.”

She is also pleased that Chinese fintech firms are making Australia part of their bases in Australia - a trend not just limited to the Airwallex deal.

A number of other milestones in the fintech space have occurred over the last year, including reports showing that investment in Australian fintech jumped from $185 to $656 million in the last year, despite a global downwards trend.

In addition, Alibaba opened its Australian HQ in Melbourne this year;  while last year Stone & Chalk launched an incubation program with Asian fintech companies; and Sydney innovation hub Haymarket HQ opened its doors to connect Australian entrepreneurs and startups in Asia.

Airwallex is based in Melbourne and also has offices in Hong Kong and China.

“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,” Szetho comments.

"Overall, the Airwallex funding round announcement is a strong marker of how the Australian and Chinese fintech industries can work together for mutual prosperity."

How healthcare can prepare for My Health Record roll-out - Proofpoint
Australia’s healthcare sector is the continent’s biggest cybercrime target, according to a July report from the Australian Information Commissioner.
How DEX aims to guide process-enabled automation strategies
"Although automation is gaining a lot of momentum, there are many instances where early adopters have failed to achieve their business transformation and ROI goals."
Penten & Cyber Security CRC to research 'advanced cyber traps'
The research centres on how advanced cyber traps, which are used to identify data breaches as they happen, can be used in conjunction with tools such as artificial intelligence.
Achieving cyber resilience in the telco industry - Accenture
Whether hackers are motivated by greed, or a curiosity to assess a telco’s weaknesses; the interconnected nature of the industry places it in a position of increased threat
The CISO view on DevOps: How to protect privileged access in the cloud
While security strategies should address privileged access and the risk of unsecured secrets and credentials, they should also closely align with DevOps culture and methods.
Nasuni receives AWS competency status for primary storage
The recognition certifies that Nasuni Cloud File Services meet AWS's strict technical proficiency requirements for primary storage.
How mass data fragmentation impacts business growth and compliance readiness
"About 44% of Australian businesses use six or more solutions to try to manage fragmented data sources and repositories."
LogicMonitor launches container monitoring solutions
Kubernetes monitoring and LM Service Insight provide performance analytics and data retention for microservices and containerised applications.