Melbourne-based cross border payments startup Airwallex has announced a $3M Series Seed led by Gobi Partners, with participation from Huashan Capital One and Billy Tam, CEO of China’s Easylink Payments.
The startup aims to ease the headache and cost of cross-border purchases by enabling consumers to buy items from outside of their country using their local currency. In essence it uses the same principles as London-based Transferwise in that it reduces the costs that both merchants and consumers eat up when the two parties are using different currencies. Airwallex CEO and co-founder Jack Zhang came upon the idea after growing tired of the additional cost of importing goods from overseas for a coffee shop business that he invested in while working for banks in Australia. Zhang, formerly with ANZ and NAB, decided that tech could provide a better solution and he founded Airwallex alongside four other co-founders, including CTO Jacob Dai and COO Lucy Yueting Liu, who spent time working foreign exchange for Barclays Bank.