Luke Latham will draw on his experience at Microsoft and Amazon to expand the company in the region
Airwallex has appointed Luke Latham as general manager for its Australia and New Zealand business.
In his new role, Latham will lead the commercial and operations functions of the business across the region from Airwallex’s Sydney office.
Latham brings experience from Amazon, Microsoft, Groupon and MILKRUN to the Australia-founded payments company.
Jack Zhang, chief executive officer and co-founder of Airwallex, said Latham’s experience in businesses disrupting traditional industries made him the right choice for the company’s expansion in the region.
Founded in Melbourne in 2015, Airwallex offers businesses solutions for global payments, treasury and expense management and embedded finance, to enable them to grow across borders.
It now employs 1,400 staff globally (200 in Australia) and plans to grow its workforce by more than 400 through the remainder of the year. The business was valued at US$5.5b at its series E funding round last year.
In Australia and New Zealand, Airwallex has grown its customer base from 6,000 to 15,000 in the last year. It has added Kogan, Freelancer.com and Camilla, among others, to its list of customers, which include Qantas, Culture Kings and Mr Yum.
On the new appointment, Zhang commented: “Luke is the right person to help Airwallex expand and build on the Australian and New Zealand business customers we work with.
“Luke will be a key part of our future success as we grow our network that now spans across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.”
Latham commented on the banking and financial system in the region, and said it was ripe for disruption as one the last areas of corporate Australia and New Zealand that hadn’t been turned on its head by technology.
He said: “Uncertain economic environments are catalysts for disruption and I think Airwallex is in the right place with the right technology and right infrastructure to be at the forefront of that change.
“There’s huge opportunity to remove the pain points and high costs you get from traditional banking and financial services.
“Airwallex has seen phenomenal growth because businesses see the appeal of an alternative to the traditional banks across their needs.”