Venture capital investors have their eyes on the Chinese rental housing market. One of the industry's biggest names has recently raised $500 million in new financing.
Ziroom, the country’s first rental housing unicorn, is reported to be completing a $500 million series B funding round, led by existing investor New York-based General Atlantic, according to Chinese tech media, 36Kr.
As of the time of publication, Ziroom, a unit of mainland residential brokerage Lianjia, has not released any statement on the reported financing.
The Beijing-based company’s latest round was led by venture firm General Pacific with mainland tech giant Tencent, Sequoia Capital China and Shenzhen-based Tiantu Capital, valued the home rental firm at $4.5 billion.
The new funding came nearly one and half years after Ziroom raised RMB 4 billion ($621 million) at a valuation of RMB 20 billion ($2,800 million) in its series A financing round in January 2018, which was led by US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, together with Sequoia Capital China and Tencent.
Founded in 2011, Beijing-based rental Ziroom currently operates in nine major cities in China, serving 450,000 landlords and three million tenants, according to its website.
The rental housing operator revealed in the first half of 2018 that the total number of units under its management then exceeded 700,000 and set the goal of reaching one million units by the end of the year. That total came after Ziroom’s generated RMB 9 billion ($1,200 million) worth of rental income from its then 350,000 listings, according to public data. In 2017, the platform’s total listings had grown to 500,000.
However, a recent report in the local media indicated that Ziroom currently has 850,000 rental units under its management, well below the goal of one million it had set to reach by the end of 2018.
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