China-based cross-border real estate investment platform Juwai.com could be headed for an initial public offering this year, as the online startup works to ramp up its global team.
The company, which was founded in 2010, is said to be raising funds in anticipation of an Australian IPO later this year or early in 2017, according to an account in Bloomberg.
“The listing is important for our growth,” the account cited Juwai CEO and former Macquarie Bank executive Charles Pittar, as saying.
Riding the Chinese Outbound Investment Wave
The Internet startup helps property owners and agents to list real estate from around the world on a Chinese-language platform that has rapidly gained traction with users in mainland China looking for overseas investment opportunities.
Juwai’s launch meshed well with a surge in overseas real estate acquisitions by Chinese consumers in the last five years, having now built a database of 2.5 million property listings from nearly 90 countries.
In the US last year the National Association of Realtors reported that home buyers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan together purchased $28.6 billion worth of US residential property in the period from April 2014 to March 2015.
And a similar investment wave has been going on in Australia, where Credit Suisse last year found that mainland buyers now account for 23 percent of new home sales in Sydney and 20 percent in Melbourne. The Swiss bank predicts that Australian home purchases by Chinese buyers will reach A$60 billion ($45.5 billion) over the next six years.
Growing a Global Team
Juwai said that it would use its new funding to expand its team globally, Bloomberg cited Pittar as saying. The former Asia COO for Macquarie Bank made the announcement in Tokyo, where the company is close to signing an alliance to expand into Japan.
Earlier this month Juwai added Los Angeles to its list of offices and appointed Matthew Moore to be its president of the Americas. Moore will lead the firm’s North American sales, marketing, and industry relations teams.
Pittar took over as CEO of Juwai in January of this year apparently in preparation for the upcoming public listing. Co-founders Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry remain with the company but stepped down as Co-CEOs to make way for Pittar.