Buyandship, a global cross-border eCommerce platform headquartered in Hong Kong, announced on Monday first closing of its Series B raise with a $10 million strategic investment led by Cool Japan Fund.

The funds will be allocated to automation of operations, research, and development in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, and market expansion into the Southeast Asia (SEA) regions, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Cool Japan Fund was founded in November 2013 as a public-private fund backed by the Japanese government, with the aim of contributing to the sustainable growth of Japan’s economy through the expansion of overseas demand and supply of attractive products and services unique to Japanese lifestyle and culture.

Through its strong community, data analytics, and logistics network, Buyandship said it has been a market leader in cross-border ecommerce, having processed $383 million in gross merchandises value (GMV) in the last fiscal year.

Buyandship said it has continuously strived to enhance its technological capabilities to drive real value for consumers. Over the past 12 months, it has built an automated shopping assistant, utilizing a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) model to boost its order processing capacity.

Going forward, an AI-powered recommendation system will be integrated into the Buyaholic social commerce platform. This system will utilize algorithm to feed user-generated content (UGC) automatically based on behavioral records to enhance user stickiness and engagement.

Sheldon Li, Co-founder and CEO of Buyandship, said, “Buyandship continues to realize its mission of offering consumers a simple and intuitive ecommerce 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.”

The global B2C e-commerce market was valued at an estimated $4.92 trillion, representing 19.6 percent of all commerce being conducted electronically in 2021. By 2025, these numbers are projected to increase to $7.39 trillion and 24.5 percent respectively.

Included within these statistics is the segment of cross-border e-commerce, which is predicted to experience a swift expansion, growing from $780 billion in 2019 to a projected $4.82 trillion in 2026.

Pickupp gets additional investment from Temasek-backed Reefknot & Kuehne+Nagel, brings up Series A & A+ to $20M