JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Global payments firm Airwallex said on Tuesday it was opening an office in Israel this week as part of plans to expand in the Middle East and globally.
Founded in Australia, the financial technology company said its Israeli operations, which will begin on Thursday, would be a first step towards expanding across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2023. It already serves a number of Israeli businesses.
Or Liban, who will head the company's Israel operations, said the country's high-tech ecosystem, in which startups look to be global from the outset, was a main factor in expanding to Tel Aviv.
"There's quite a lot of startups that might be relevant for our mergers and acquisition strategy, namely around cyber security, fraud detection, threat prevention. It's a very vibrant ecosystem," Liban told Reuters.
He noted that while there were no deals currently in the works, there were many opportunities for the company.
Airwallex is valued at $5.5 billion and has raised $900 million from investors including Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia, Tencent, Square Peg, Lone Pine Capital and 1835i and processes more than $50 billion in transactions a year.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Bernadette Baum)