YASO
3 min readJan 9, 2023

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Meet the Kuai Commerce Cofounders

Kuai Commerce is a next-generation solution for ambitious brands looking to enter the $1.7tn Chinese ecommerce market and sell directly to Gen Z consumers, using the power of social commerce.

To build this business you need quite a specific set of skills, so here is some insight into the founder’s backgrounds and why they are the best people in the world to be building this company.

The cofounders, from left to right (Adam Knight, James Campbell, Jonny Plein)

Adam Knight

Adam heads up Kuai’s brand services, from business development to strategy, implementation and client relationships. Having also studied Chinese at Oxford alongside James, Adam cofounded TONG where he was responsible for leading its commercial and consultancy divisions, architecting China strategies for organisations as diverse as Clinique, Foster + Partners and The North Face.

In addition to his startup experience, Adam has always maintained an academic fascination with China. He completed a part-time MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute in 2018, before beginning — again, in his spare time — a fully-funded PhD in Chinese technology policy and law at Leiden University. Adam is a regular media commentator, with his insights on Chinese consumer culture appearing in The Economist, BBC, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Al Jazeera, South China Morning Post, Jing Daily and Vogue Business.

James Campbell

James leads Kuai’s technical and logistics team, bringing almost a decade of China market entry experience to the table. James studied Chinese at Oxford University where he met cofounder Adam, with whom he launched what would become Europe’s leading China-focused agency TONG. From their dorm rooms at university, James and Adam scaled TONG to work with some of the world’s leading brands, including Chelsea FC, Alexander McQueen, Fortnum & Mason and Estee Lauder.

James’ technical expertise stems from a lifelong passion for computing. He is self-taught, but has led many successful cross-border tech projects. These include Kuai’s MVP, WeCommerce, an integration between Magento-based ecommerce websites and WeChat, allowing Western brands to sell directly through Chinese social commerce. He has deep knowledge of Chinese logistics workflows, payment solutions and cross-border legal issues.

Jonny Plein

Jonny leads Kuai’s Operations, Commercial and Finance functions. He studied Economics & Chinese at University and spent some time living in China before taking a job in Corporate Finance. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then left that job as soon as he could to cofounded Pouch (www.joinpouch.com), an ecommerce and affiliate marketing start-up based in London.

The business really started growing after appearing on Dragons Den, where Pouch received offers from all 5 Dragons. Jonny was responsible for user growth, finance, fundraising and all commercial operations.

After scaling the business to 1m+ installs and 6 figures of ARR, Pouch was acquired in 2019. Having built, scaled and sold a startup at his first attempt, Jonny brings a wealth of product, marketing, and team-building experience to Kuai Commerce.

Jonny met Adam and James when he was looking to Angel invest in their Agency, but they all saw a much bigger opportunity in founding Kuai Commerce instead.

The three founders have a unique insight into China and technology, having worked in the space for almost a decade, and it is this insight and experience that makes them the perfect founding team for Kuai Commerce!

If you are a brand looking to work with Kuai click here

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YASO

YASO is a social commerce solution for ambitious brands looking to enter the $1.7tn Chinese ecommerce market and sell directly to Gen Z consumers,