Japanese Venture Capital Infinity Ventures (IVP) and Sequoia China are among its existing investors.
Founded in 2016, the Beijing-based company positioned itself as a global mobile payment service platform that concentrates on the ‘To Business (2B)’ approach. The startup initially cut into the market with its cross-border payment service that targets travelers, and then gradually developed to a financial and marketing technology and service provider that serves merchants around the globe.
According to McKinsey, China is the world’s largest outbound travel market and expects to grow further. Travelers in the country took more than 131 million trips overseas in 2017, and this number is projected to surpass 160 million in 2020 (if COVID-19 doesn’t interfere).
This gives rise to business opportunities. If integrated payment solutions can be offered, opportunity beckons. Current development allows Chinese consumers to make payments through many methods domestically – for example, AliPay, WePay, and UnionPay.
The business of Ksher started from here.
At this stage, it provides overseas merchants with multiple payment service solutions, including hardware, Point of Sales (POS) system integration and apps. The company has served more than 100,000 Key Accounts (KAs) at a certain scale, including Thailand’s travel retail group King Power and spa and wellness centers operator Siam Wellness Group (SPA:BKK).
After connecting the merchants, Ksher then started to build up a marketing tech module based on its payments business, which provides a series of value-added marketing services, including brand promotion, travel e-commerce, multilingual ordering services and membership systems construction, to further increase the value that the cross-border payment startup can bring to its clients.
Ksher started its journey in Thailand. Up to now, it has expanded its operations to serve over 100,000 merchants in 13 countries – including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Canada, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Besides, its annual transaction volume increased from USD 1 million in 2016 to USD 1 billion in 2019, according to 36Kr.
Here are some firms whose businesses lie in a similar area to that of Ksher: Square (SQ:NYSE) – a merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco – and Netease Pay, a cross-border payment arm of China’s Internet giant Netease (NTES:NASDAQ).