The startup funding round: Data mining, recruitment boom and yet more cash for Airwallex

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

After a wild first few months of the year, things seem to be quieting down a tad on the startup funding front.

That could just be because we’re approaching the end of the first quarter of the year, or because the looming end of the JobKeeper is causing economic uncertainty. Perhaps you’re all just saving them up to send me next week.

But, there are of course still deals afoot, not least this week for Aussie unicorn Airwallex, which is continuing to build up its Series D round.

Have you secured capital lately? Let me know.

Airwallex

Airwallex has tacked an extra US$100 million ($131 million) onto its ever-growing Series D round, raising the total commitment to US$300 million.

The top-up — which comes almost a year after the Series D round was initially announced — has also given the fintech’s valuation a boost. It’s now worth some US$2.6 billion (AU$3.4 billion).

Initially, Airwallex announced a $250 million raise back in April 2020. Then, in September another $57 million was added, after COVID-19 led to a 100% revenue boost for the business.

The new capital will be focused on continued international growth, co-founder and chief Jack Zhang said in a statement.

Alooba

Recruitment startup Alooba has secured $1 million in pre-Series A funding, after enjoying 12 months of largely unexpected growth.

Founded by Tim Freestone in 2019, Alooba raised $1.1 million in seed funding in April last year, right at the beginning of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

At that time, Freestone told SmartCompany the raise was a lifeline to keep the startup ticking over during the downturn. But, since then, it’s gained traction, and now has customers all over Australia, as well as in the UK, the US and Dubai.

The funding comes from the same group of angel investors that backed the startup in the first round, and will be focused on building extra sales functions in key overseas markets.

Freestone is also looking ahead to a larger Series A round in about a years’ time.

Dataminr

In international news, New York-based real-time ‘information discovery’ platform Dataminr has closed a ginormous $475 million funding round, boosting its valuation to $4.1 billion.

The funding is pegged for development of the corporate enterprise arm of the business, which has been growing at 10% year-on-year for the past three years.

Dataminr scours public data sources and detects patterns from emerging events and information, performing trillions of computations every day, and sharing insights with clients in real time.

According to founder and chief Ted Bailey, the tech is used by more than half of the corporations in the Fortune 500. Now, he’s targeting international growth, too.

“We live in an increasingly unpredictable world,” Bailey said in a statement.

For both public and private sector organisations, being able to collect and analyse as quickly as possible is “more relevant than ever”, he added.

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