Easy Transfer processes billions of dollars in tuition for overseas Chinese students

For a founder building a consumer-facing business, overseas Chinese students might just be one of the most coveted targets: they’re young, well educated and have access to the ‘bank’ of mom and dad.
This is a large addressable audience since millions of Chinese families send their children out West to study every year. It doesn’t come cheap. Tuition and living costs can easily add up to $50,000 annually at a top-tier university in the United States, which is still many Chinese people’s favored destination despite heightened tensions between the two countries.
The notion that all overseas Chinese students are rich isn’t always true, as more mid-income parents are willing to compromise their living standards for what they perceive as a “better” education their children can obtain overseas. But, all told, living and studying abroad still costs a lot more than it does back home. At the prestigious Peking University, for example, tuition costs usually amount to no more than $1,000 each year.
One startup from China has carved out a way to capture these potentially heavy spenders. Easy Transfer, which was co-founded in 2013 by then 19-year-old Tony Gao, lives up to its name by taking the hassle out of processing tuition payments for Chinese students studying abroad. The IDG-backed startup crossed an impressive $776 million in transaction volume in 2018, the same year that it broke even, Gao told TechCrunch in a recent interview.
Easy Transfer processes billions of dollars in tuition for overseas Chinese students
Tony Gao, co-founder and president of Easy Transfer / Photo: Easy Transfer 
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