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Australia’s Airwallex raises $200m to super-charge its UK SME banking

Tide and Starling Bank have a new, well-funded competitor.

a man and woman posing for a picture

Jack Zhang and Lucy Liu/Airwallex.

Fast-growing SME banking provider Airwallex this week raised a considerable Series E funding round at a $4bn valuation to super-charge its global expansion.

The $200m raise was led by US hedge fund Lone Pine Capital and is aimed, in particular, at the business's US, UK and European growth.

“Businesses of all sizes that have already joined Airwallex—from SME to enterprise customers—understand that we bring a full solution for their payment needs and it results in their saving up to 80 per cent on their ongoing payment costs and this further fuels their growth,” said Airwallex EMEA general manager Jed Rose.

In Europe, Airwallex has already grown its headcount from 10 to 70 in the last year, with plans to reach 100 by the end of 2021.

Current hiring includes growth in Airwallex’s sales and commercial teams, as well as engineering teams across its five global hubs.

“We will deploy our funds to the direct benefit of our customers, investing in building a world-class team to scale our operations, including ramping up our engineering hub in Amsterdam to expand on our comprehensive payment stack,” added Rose.

“We want to become the go-to payment provider in EMEA,  empowering businesses of all sizes to grow without borders."

Airwallex doesn’t charge for its business current account, multicurrency accounts, domestic or international payments, but does charge an FX margin of between 0.5–1 per cent.

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