Airwallex founders

Airwallex co-founders Xijing Dai, Jack Zhang, Lucy Liu and Max Li. Source: supplied.

Strategy
Stephanie Palmer-Derrien

Scrappy, nimble and just a little bit structured: How Airwallex is managing hypergrowth in the midst of a pandemic

Authors
Stephanie Palmer-Derrien
Growth, Strategy
10 minute Read


Melbourne-born fintech Airwallex is one of the quintessential poster children of Australian startups, having seen the classic rocket-ship growth every entrepreneur dreams of.

Founded in 2015 by then-students Lucy Liu, Jack Zhang, Max Li, Xijing Dai and Ki-lok Wong, the business was conceived to make cross-border payments a little easier and a lot more transparent, using machine learning to figure out the most cost-effective way of settling a transaction.

The team built a tool that solved international payment pain points for businesses of all sizes, offering competitive fees and — importantly — clarity.

Within three-and-a-half years, the fintech became the fastest ever Australian startup to hit a $1 billion valuation and cementing itself as a bonafide success story.

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