A $10 million strategic investment led by Cool Japan Fund was the first closing of the Series B raise for Buyandship, a Hong Kong-based global cross-border eCommerce platform.
The funds will be used for operations automation, AI, and machine learning research and development, as well as market expansion into Southeast Asia (SEA), the company said in a statement.
A public-private fund backed by the Japanese government, Cool Japan Fund was established in November 2013 with the goal of boosting overseas demand and supply for appealing goods and services that are specifically related to Japanese culture and lifestyle.
Buyandship claimed to be a market leader in cross-border e-commerce thanks to its robust community, data analytics, and logistics network, processing $383 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the previous fiscal year.
Buyandship claimed that in order to deliver genuine value to customers, it has continuously worked to improve its technological capabilities. In order to increase its capacity for processing orders, it developed an automated shopping assistant over the course of the previous year.
The Buyaholic social commerce platform will soon include a recommendation system powered by AI. In order to increase user stickiness and engagement, this system will use an algorithm to feed user-generated content (UGC) automatically based on behavioral records.
Sheldon Li, Co-founder and CEO of Buyandship, said, “Buyandship continues to realize its mission of offering consumers a simple and intuitive e-commerce experience, to purchase products globally, at the most competitive pricing. The latest round of investment, alongside funding from the HKSTP Elite Program, will further cement Buyandship’s leadership and competitiveness in space with AI-driven functionality and machine learning in its service offering, deepened community engagement, and enhanced margins from warehouse automation. From a geographical expansion perspective, Buyandship looks forward to widening its coverage within SEA and South Korea, benefiting even more consumers in the region.”
Kenichi Kawasaki, President, CEO, and COO of Cool Japan Fund, said, “This investment will encourage overseas consumers to purchase local Japanese e-commerce products that do not support overseas shipping, and will help raise the profile of Japanese products among overseas users while expanding sales opportunities.”
In 2021, 19.6% of all electronic commerce will be conducted through the estimated $4.92 trillion global B2C e-commerce market. It is anticipated that these figures will rise to $7.39 trillion and 24.5 percent, respectively, by 2025.
These figures cover the cross-border e-commerce sector, which is expected to grow quickly, from $780 billion in 2019 to an estimated $4.82 trillion in 2026.