Airwallex founders
PR & communications for Airwallex

PR for Airwallex

Turning one of Australia’s fastest-grown unicorns into a global tech giant


Three years after it was founded, international payments fintech Airwallex achieved a valuation of US$1bn, making them the fastest-grown unicorn in Australian history (a privately owned company worth over US$1bn).

Icon Agency was appointed to lead their international media relations to mark this milestone moment and handle ongoing PR under a retained agency agreement.

Airwallex logo
Yahoo news article on tablet


Founded in December 2015 by five friends, Airwallex allows customers to instantly create global accounts with local bank details, access inter-bank exchange rates and send money through local and international clearing networks to more than 130 countries.

A successful Series C fundraising round led by international VC investor DST Global, which closed at US$100m (AUS$141.3m), saw Airwallex confirm its status as Australia’s latest fintech unicorn – and a global start-up with a big future.

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In the competitive, fast-moving fintech sector, standing out and cutting through the noise is a challenge. While the Australian media loves a home-grown success story, attention at the time was heavily focused on the Royal Commission into Banking and associated scandals.

Airwallex has enjoyed enormous success in China and a strong profile in the Australian fintech sector, but its recognition amongst the general public prior to the unicorn announcement was limited. In light of new product launches in the Australian market earlier, Icon was charged with raising their profile and positioning them as industry leaders.

Bloomberg and ABC News placements



We implemented an extensive media engagement program to introduce Airwallex to tier one Australian media, with interview opportunities secured across the Fairfax and News Corp titles.

Icon also coordinated media coverage internationally to maximise the news cycle and secure coverage across influential USA and Asian media.

  • Global reach of 753m including 51m in Australia, 101m in the USA and a global broadcast reach of 415m

  • 731 pieces of coverage worldwide

  • 16 articles across Australian tier one media including the Australian Financial Review, ABC News and The Australian

  • 144% increase in positive mentions compared to the previous three months


  • Strategic communications

  • Corporate communications

  • Consumer and trade PR

  • Issues management

  • Press office

  • Messaging development

  • Reporting, monitoring and evaluation

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