We live in a world of opportunities, where technology has ushered in new, faster, more efficient ways for businesses to operate all across the world. No matter how big (or small) a company is, there are plenty of ways new tech can help businesses grow.
Named Startup of the Year 2022 at the US Fintech Awards, Airwallex is a leading global financial technology platform that is breaking down barriers to create a world where all businesses can operate with borders or restrictions.
Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, Airwallex was inspired by real-life experience by two of its co-founders, Jack Zhang and Max Li. As owners of a cafe, Jack and Max recognised first-hand the impact of high foreign exchange (FX) fees and banking costs on their profit margins, and sought to build a better solution for businesses operating across borders. They teamed up with friends from the University of Melbourne, Lucy Liu and Xijing Dai, and using their collective backgrounds in technology and finance, started building a solution from the ground up that step-changed payments, and which has now become a pivotal part of the global financial infrastructure.
Our growing footprint in the Americas
To effectively support modern businesses in every corner of the world, Airwallex focused on expanding its geographic reach in the last two years, and has today built strong, on-the-ground presences across the Asia Pacific, Europe and the UK, and the Americas.
“Airwallex is innovative and impactful, engaging and always enabling customers in the movement of money on a global scale. This fintech is well on its way to becoming established in the US market and making the world even bigger for its target clients. A lesson in excellence.” US Fintech Awards 2022 judges
Airwallex launched in the US market in 2021, at the height of the pandemic. It was at that time, however, when the fintech company saw an opportunity to support businesses in the US in need of cross-border payment and finance solutions. With its global payments and banking infrastructure, Airwallex recognised its enormous potential to affect the way money moves globally, and how to best support the financial needs of businesses operating across multiple jurisdictions. In just one year, Airwallex has seen a more than 200% customer growth, and solidifying key partnerships, including with Shopify, Xero and Hubspot. As a major hub for technology innovations, Airwallex’s entrance into the US market has further solidified its position in the industry.
A conversation with Ravi Adusumilli
Driving Airwallex’s US business is Ravi Adusumilli, general manager of the Americas and global head of partnerships. With 20+ years of experience, working with some of the fastest-growing and most successful tech firms and startups, Ravi is focused on unlocking greater growth opportunities for Airwallex in the US, and around the world.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to join Airwallex? I joined Airwallex after 20+ years of driving transformative impact for some of the leading tech-driven businesses in the world. I am invigorated at the idea of helping companies scale, and to be part of the energy and excitement that comes with being part of an innovative, forward-thinking business.
“I am invigorated at the idea of helping companies scale, and to be part of the energy and excitement that comes with being part of an innovative, forward-thinking business.” Ravi Adusumilli, general manager of the Americas and global head of partnerships at Airwallex
This is the same reason why I joined Airwallex. After launching consumer payments at scale, I recall seeing news of the company’s fundraise and their phenomenal growth. I was intrigued by its proposition—to enable a global financial infrastructure and platform that can support any business with payment and money movement needs, anywhere around the world.
As US FinTech Awards 2022 Startup of the Year, can you tell us a little about Airwallex’s journey so far? We are truly humbled to have received this year’s award, and a lot of this is because of the strong foundations our team has built to enable this growth. Starting from zero about a year ago, we now have a functional go-to-market business with commercial and operational processes, including the right compliance and legal framework, that will allow us to continue to scale our business in the US and Canada quickly. We certainly still have a long way to go, but seeing what we have achieved this year, amid the challenging market environment, gets me excited and optimistic of what we can achieve in the longer term.
In the last quarter (Q2) alone, we kept our growth momentum and saw revenue increase by 73% compared to the first quarter this year. We hope to continue with this trend as we continue to scale our operations and product offerings in the region.
What really sets Airwallex apart from other fintechs? Airwallex’s uniqueness from other financial technology platforms lies within its proprietary tech infrastructure, its global network and sound regulatory framework. Airwallex currently enables payments in 150+ countries and 50+ currencies and has more than 50 licences globally—to be able to legally operate in so many countries around the world is an enormous advantage for us, as one of the largest pain points for businesses is navigating the different legal, compliance and regulations in different countries and jurisdictions.
At the crux of it all, there truly is no other fintech out there today that is quite like Airwallex. To be able to operate at such scale, and truly support businesses anytime, anywhere—you can expect to hear more about Airwallex in the near future!
So what’s next for Airwallex in the Americas? We are continuing to build! We are laser focused on ensuring we continue to strengthen our products and offerings so we can provide businesses in the US and broader Americas region with a global infrastructure that can seamlessly support their payment and financial services needs.