By: 6 June 2023

Ravi Adusumilli, Airwallex's general manager, Americas and senior vice president, partnerships, discusses what comes next for the fintech

Money20/20: Ravi Adusumilli, Airwallex

Airwallex is expanding at lighting speed. It sustained its $5.6b valuation during its latest funding round last October, and continues to scale, making now the perfect time for FinTech Intel to sit down with Ravi Adusumilli, Airwallex’s general manager, Americas and senior vice president, partnerships, to discuss what comes next.

In this interview, Adusumilli tells FinTech Intel about Airwallex’s success and how fintech safeguarding models could have stopped a bank collapse.

He also looks forward to Airwallex’s chief executive officer and co-founder, Jack Zhang, speaking at Money20/20 Europe this week about the fintech’s growth in a borderless, digital economy.

Can you tell me about Airwallex and what it does?

Airwallex is one of the world’s fastest growing financial technology companies today, operating across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas

Globally, Airwallex continues to scale at pace, covering more than 150 countries, enabling more than US$50b of annualised transaction volume, and with revenue more than doubling year on year.

We’re continuing to expand our global footprint and recently announced our launch into Israel and the Middle East and have our sights set on Latin America later this year.

There are three sides to our business—business accounts, core api and embedded finance.

Our business account is an all-in-one account to help businesses operate globally. Core API is for businesses looking for powerful and flexible APIs to programmatically manage money. Embedded finance for platforms and marketplaces looks to generate new lines of revenue by embedding Airwallex’s APIs and components.

What is your role at the company?

I hold two roles. I serve as Airwallex’s general manager of Americas and senior vice president of partnerships.

I oversee Airwallex’s entire business in the region, identifying opportunities to drive the company’s regional growth across the Americas.

I also lead an international team across the US, APAC and EMEA, managing the company’s extensive global network of strategic and financial partnerships that are instrumental for our growth globally.

In regard to the recent banking crisis, you mentioned how fintech safeguarding models could have stopped a bank collapse.

Unlike traditional banks, fintechs don’t have the ability to use customer funds for other purposes, such as purchasing bonds.

When funds are held with a fintech company they are ringfenced. This means that funds cannot be used by the fintech for trading, investments or loans—it is essentially untouchable.

In the event of a fintech failing, the funds in the safeguarded account will be returned to the account holder.

The fintech model ensures internal teams have the right governance, data and technology in place to move swiftly and securely.

The recent bank collapses have highlighted the importance of being able to move quickly, which fintechs enable by ensuring the right data and options are available to protect customer funds.

What brings you to Money20/20 Europe?

Having attended both of last year’s Money20/20 events in Las Vegas and in Amsterdam, this is a great opportunity to once again demonstrate how our global payments and financial infrastructure can enable businesses to be borderless from day one.

It’s an exciting albeit busy couple of days, meeting with executives across fintech and financial services, but well worth it from a business development and relationship-building standpoint.

What are you looking forward to most at the event?

This year, I’m most looking forward to hearing Airwallex’s chief executive officer and co-founder, Jack Zhang, speak on the main stage alongside Ingrid Lunden, managing editor at TechCrunch.

During the fireside chat, A Borderless Fairytale or Foregone Conclusion?, Zhang will share just how the company is thriving in the current market, and how it aims to grow in the borderless, digital economy.

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Image source: Airwallex

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.