CoinDesk, Roxe announced that it will list on Nasdaq through a combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Goldenstone Acquisition Ltd. (GDST), in a deal valued at $3.6 billion. While there is relatively little information about Roxe and
its executives, what’s surprising is that Roxe is led by a father & son duo, namely Haohan Xu the CEO, and his father Maodong Xu, Roxe’s President.
Maodong Xu has an interesting and long background as a Chinese serial entrepreneur who rose to fame and fortune (he was listed on
Forbes’ list of Chinese billionaires in 2016) through his many successful business ventures in the mobile, eCommerce and FinTech industries. In recent years, he has focused on starting
businesses that leverage blockchain technology to reinvent payments and other financial services.
Xu came from humble beginnings and was born in a small fishing village in Shandong Province, China. He earned his degree in Computer Application and Automation and Business Management from the Wuhan University of Technology and used a $10,000 wedding gift
to create what became the largest supermarket in Shandong Province, the QiLu Supermarket.
After that in 1998 Xu founded DotAd, which became the largest SMS application and leading 2G company in China and was acquired by Focus Media for $30M in 2006. DotAd was then renamed as Focus Wireless. The actual amount of the acquisition was $60M due to
the increase in share price after the acquisition. Then in 2007, Xu co-founded EGLS, a leading mobile game developer in China, which was acquired by a public company Dragon Pipe for $500M in 2015. A year later, in 2008, he founded Lmobile, which became the
largest mobile MMS advertising platform and leading 2.5G company in China. Softbank Asia Investment Bank (SAIF) invested in Lmobile which was acquired by Telstra for $159M in 2010.
In 2010, Xu founded Welink, which became the leading mobile marketing platform and 3G company in China and was sold for $110M to CSC in 2015. In the same year, he founded WoWo, which received $100M investment from CDH, Zero2IPO, and Bauhinia Capital. Wowo
became the leading lifestyle service e-commerce platform in China. He successfully led the company to list on NASDAQ in 2015 with a market cap of $1B. In 2011, he founded Galaxy Internet, which has received $350 million in funding from CSC and several other
private equity firms and became the leading industrial internet group in China, with a valuation of $1.9B in 2016.
Following his many successes, Xu also faced unfounded setbacks, as Galaxy Internet’s second-tier subsidiary purchased 29% of the shares of a Chinese public company, Tianma, and ran into a gray area in Chinese government regulations. This led to Xu unfortunately
being sanctioned by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
Xu overcame this adversity and brought his entrepreneurial spirit to the United States to help his son Haohan launch his own business (Apifiny). Haohan, along with his father’s assistance, later founded Roxe, where they aimed to transform the future of
digital payments in banking and eCommerce. Roxe’s rapidly growing network enables users to send and receive payments from 113 countries around the world. Over the past six months, the company has doubled its number of global partnerships to over 44.
Xu has an impressive track record as a serial entrepreneur after founding several successful companies and obtaining more than ten patents in the technology field. This led him to be recognized, along with Jack Ma, as one of the top ten newsmakers in China
and leading entrepreneur by the Chinese government. Xu has utilized his entrepreneurial talents and prowess to pay it forward, giving funds to his high school alma mater and sponsoring more than a dozen students of outstanding character who attended prestigious
schools such as Harvard, Tsinghua and Peking University.