BorderX Lab, a China-focused e-commerce firm founded by former Google scientists, secures $20m

BorderX Lab team

Silicon Valley-headquartered e-commerce firm BorderX Lab, which currently provides Chinese consumers access to Western lifestyle products, has raised $20 million in a Series B financing round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.

The startup was founded by three former Google computer scientists in 2014, with the mission of “making it safe and convenient for shoppers to buy authentic products”.

In a statement, BorderX Lab said Hillhouse Capital Group, China Broadband Capital, Welight Capital, and iFly Venture Capital also participated in the round.

“The proceeds will be used to further drive international expansion, create new platform features to improve the customer experience and continue the hiring of team members in Sunnyvale and Shanghai,” it said.

BorderX Lab operates Beyond App, a cross-border e-commerce solution that provides global brands and merchants exposure to the Chinese consumer market.

The platform also connects China’s emerging middle class to American and European fashion, beauty, healthcare, and lifestyle brands.

The startup said it partners with more than 50 merchants, including Saks, Peter Thomas Roth, Finish Line, Forzieri and Everlane to bring a catalogue of more than five million products to Chinese consumers.

Since its inception, BorderX Lab said its app has been downloaded by Chinese users more than 3 million times. The company has also generated tens of millions in new sales for its top merchant partners in 2017 and has been profitable since Q3 2017.

“We’ve removed the hassle of trying to buy authentic goods directly for millions of consumers and of having to deal with currency, language, and cultural issues,” said BorderX Lab co-founder and chief executive Dr. Albert Shen.

Market research firm eMarketer earlier said China’s e-commerce sales will account for 40.8 per cent of all retail sales in China by 2021, up from 23.1 per cent in 2017.

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market with a significant lead over other markets, including the US, the UK, and Japan.

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