China’s export-oriented e-commerce has been booming in recent years as the world needs its electronics, fast fashion, sports equipment and other everyday products. While the country’s digital exporters are booming, they are also facing challenges. One of their biggest problems is the collection of payments, which is usually associated with high costs, delays and lack of transparency.
SwooshTransfer, which recently received a “multi-million dollar” round of funding from investors including Sequoia China and K2VC, is one of the new players looking to facilitate international transactions for Chinese companies and other countries. The company declined to disclose the exact amount of funding.
After ten years at Alibaba and its fintech giant Ant Group, Max Ma founded SwooshTransfer in 2021 to facilitate cross-border payments for SMEs and individuals, such as international students, who often have a learning problem. According to Ma gaming-updates, the company’s main strength lies in the use of technology to automate transactions that help customers reduce costs and risks.
For example, instead of hiring people, the startup uses confidential computing and blockchain to manage the regulatory documents required for cross-border transactions. It also uses artificial intelligence to detect fraud and unusual user behavior.
“Chinese SMEs are going global, but they don’t have many tools to support their business,” Ma said. “For international payments, the costs are [charged by third party services] are traditionally opaque and users receive little to no personalized service.”
Swooshtransfer’s ambitions are not limited to departing Chinese businessmen and students. He set up a base in the UK where he appointed a local executive as the company’s executive CEO, a relatively rare move for the globalization of Chinese companies, usually led by Chinese officials. According to the founder, the startup plans to offer its marketing tools and payment solutions to retailers in the UK, which the latter see as a stepping stone to other European markets.