Tencent investing $1b in Chinese real estate brokerage Lianjia: Report

A pedestrian walks past Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s new under-construction headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s biggest social media and gaming company Tencent is reportedly investing $1 billion in Beijing-based online-to-offline real estate agency Lianjia, which is raising $3 billion in a private equity round that values the company at $13 billion.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the said investment will give Tencent exposure to the booming housing market in China and allow it to diversify its business. Tencent’s business model is focused on gaming and social media.

Aside from Tencent, private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC is also reportedly joining the funding round with a $500-million investment in the company that operates more than 8,000 retail outlets offering real-estate brokerage services in 28 Chinese cities.

Lianjia, also known as Home Link, operates Lianjia.com and its business owns 7 per cent market share in China’s online and offline real estate services market as of 2016. It has close to 150,000 property agents.

Both Tencent and Warburg Pincus have not issued a statement about its investment in Lianjia as of this posting. Lianjia also has not made an official statement about its latest funding round.

Sources quoted in the WSJ report said Lianjia will use the proceeds of the latest funding round to expand Beikie, its recently launched real-estate brokerage site that offers brokerage and financial services to Chinese renters and home buyers.

Lianjia last raised Rmb3 billion ($439 million) in a Series D funding round in April 2017 led by China Vanke. The two parties have a long-standing partnership. Since 2014, Lianjia has been a strategic partner with Vanke for property sales and online marketing work.

Prior to that, in April 2016, Lianjia raised Rmb6 billion ($926 million) series B from Huasheng Capital, Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. At the time it was reported that Lianjia was looking at a public listing in either China, Hong Kong or the NASDAQ.

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that residential property sales in the country totaled Rmb6.6 trillion ($964.26 billion) in January – July period of this year, a 16 per cent rise from the same period in 2017.

Also Read:

Vanke to invest $440m in Chinese online real estate agency Lianjia

Tencent-backed Chinese EV maker Nio targets to raise $1.32b in IPO

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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. 
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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.