Ai Wu Ji Wu (Iwjw), a Chinese startup that operates an online platform for house rental services, has reportedly gone into liquidation after raising a total of $305 million in funding since its inception in 2014, according to a China Money Network report.
If the report is confirmed, that would mean big-ticket investors GGV Capital, Temasek Holdings, Hillhouse Capital, and Morningside Group stand to lose millions of dollars of investments in the Shanghai-based self-proclaimed unicorn.
Temasek Holdings and Hillhouse Capital-led Iwjw’s $150-million Series E round in November 2015 while GGV Capital and Morningside anchored the $120-million Series D in May of the same year. GGV also led the $35-million Series C in Ijwj in 2014.
Shunwei Capital, Banyan Capital, and Gaorong Capital have also invested in the company, according to publicly available data.
Iwjw’s website has already been replaced by information about a new apartment rental. The startup’s app also appears to display an error message when opened. A report by Chinese media outlet Yi Magazine also said Iwji’s official registered office does not exist.
The company, founded in 2014, was set up to disrupt the traditional real estate agency business by offering a platform that allows online processing of home-buying and renting. It charges a 0.5 per cent commission fee from both buyers and sellers on home sales.
GGV Capital, Temasek, Hillhouse, and other investors bought into the vision and poured money into the company. In just 18 months, Iwjw reached unicorn status from just five rounds of financing.
In 2018, however, the company started to feel the heat of a cooling real estate market and increasing macroeconomic uncertainties. Interviewed by Chinese media outlet Jiemian in November, Iwjw co-founder Deng Wei revealed that how to keep the company afloat was his main priority.