Global payments platform Visa is reportedly looking at investing in a new in Melbourne fintech Airwallex in a raise worth up to A$290 million in an additional Series E round.
Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources “familiar with the matter”, reports that the deal could be done with Airwallex maintaining the A$7.6 billion (US$5.5bn) valuation it had in November last year, when it raised A$137 million in a “Series E1” that doubled the company’s valuation in just six months.
Holding ground on its valuation in a year where the dark clouds of down rounds, especially in the fintech sector, looms, is perhaps the most impressive feat for Airwallex if the deal gets across the line.
Earlier this month, Swedish BNPL Klarna, saw its valuation drop 85% in just 12 months from US$45.6 billion valuation it had in June 2021 when it raised US$639 million. The former world’s 2nd most valuable fintech raised US$800 million in a round that valued the business at US$6.7 billion (A$9.74bn) – just $2bn more than Airwallex.
Meanwhile, listed fintechs such as Zip have seen the value of their shares fall by as much as 90% over the past year.
News of Airwallex hunting for a third Series E round first emerged in April, as it reportedly considered a public listing. Last year Airwallex raised A$275 million in a series E, then two months later, topped it up with the extra A$137m. That followed 2020’s $130 million Series D.
Airwallex has so far raised more than A$1.1 billion in the seven years since it was founded.
Bloomberg reports that the business is now looking to raise up to US$150 million (A$290m) on the extension and no deal with Visa has been reached. Neither company would comment on the report.
The fintech nearly doubled its headcount in 2021 and now employs close to 1,000 employees in more than 20 locations globally. Revenue grew nearly 150% in the first half of 2021, processing more than US$20 billion, with the client base quadrupling in size.
The business opened in the US late last year, as well as seeing its Singapore entity granted a Major Payment Institution License to expand its financial services offerings.
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