Temasek, GGV-backed Chinese startup Iwjw goes into liquidation: Report

While general economic development is slowing down, the property market of China is stalling at an even sharper rate. (Reuters via MBT)

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Iwjw’s website has already been replaced by information about a new apartment rental.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.

Also Read:

Temasek, Hillhouse Capital invest $150m in Chinese home listings portal Aiwujiwu

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.