Softbank leads $2.4 billion round in Chinese housing platform Beike

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(Image credit: Beike)

Beijing-based online housing platform Beike has secured $2.4 billion in a Series D Plus from a consortium led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund which is reportedly doubling down on investments in the Chinese real estate market.

Why it matters: Chinese online housing platforms are drawing increasing interest from tech giants and venture capital firms despite the high-risk model that many operate under.

  • China’s online apartment-rental platforms such as US-listed Danke and Ziroom are being scrutinized by the government for predatory practices and risky financial dealings.
  • SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund itself is facing challenges due to a series of missteps including backing WeWork.

Details: Beike’s investment deal closed in November, according to reports from local mediaon Wednesday. Other investors participating in the round include Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, and Sequoia Capital.

  • The new proceeds will be used for research and development, expanding application scenarios for its products, and team construction, according to the report.
  • The Wall Street Journal reportedthe news on Tuesday that SoftBank has invested $500 million in Beike and another $1 billion in Chinese apartment-rental firm Ziroom.
  • Beike did not immediately respond to TechNode’s inquiries on Thursday.

Context:Beike, an offshoot of Chinese real estate brokerage Lianjia, is an online listing platform that helps users find properties.

  • The parent company Lianjia, or Homelink, saw a shareholding reshuffle(in Chinese) in March 2019. Investments from 22 Lianjia investors were transferred to Beike.
  • Born out of a Lianjia business unit, Chinese apartment rental platform Ziroom is also an offshoot of the former real estate brokerage giant.
  • Ziroom has faced a series of PR crises in recent years for a number of scandals.
  • Beike announced in July that it received $1.2 billion in a Series Dled by Tencent at a valuation exceeding $10 billion.