Two Australian friends turned one coffee shop into a $1 billion startup. This is how they did it.
Jack Zhang and Max Li were just looking for a solid side hustle. So like a lot of young urbanites they opened a coffee shop. But now the two entrepreneurs have brewed up the fastest-growing $1 billion startup in Australian history.
How two guys created a $1 billion startup
As new small business owners, Jack and Max couldn’t believe the exorbitant international fees when importing coffee. It destroyed their margins. Surely others were frustrated too.
Instead of just complaining Max and Jack enlisted three other college friends Lucy Liu, Xijing Dai and Ki-Lok.
Together they invented a solution. But not just for coffee. For all international business.
Airwallex allows cheap business-to-business transactions across borders. It’s like Transferwise, but for business owners.
“They were importing a lot from China and they found the whole process to be very painful,” Liu told CNBC. “We thought there must be something we could do.”
The path to a $1 billion startup
In a matter of months, the friends had all quit their day jobs. It was time to go all in.