Known as China’s “Apple”, smartphone maker Xiaomi, is world’s most valuable startup with a USD 45 billion valuation. Its CEO Lei Jun has been building up his entrepreneur portfolio, growing his tech empire and making bold investments in the tech sector. He set up an investment arm Shunwei Capital in 2011. So far, the fund has made a flurry of investments. One highlight is that the fund tends to invest in real estate projects targeting young people in the post-80s generation. That’s because there’s a USD 949.1 billion market backed by these young Chinese.
We’ve compiled a list of Shunwei’s real estate service provider investments:
From the name, you can tell that this type of housing development targets young people. In September 2014, Shunwei Capital and Ce Yuan Ventures injected RMB 100 million (USD 15.28 million) in the YOU+ Youth Community, which was founded in 2011 in Guangzhou and has now expanded to other first-tier cities. YOU+ provides single white collar workers with a modern living community. It rents whole buildings near industrial parks or offices, renovates the building, adds recreational facilities and rents them out to young office workers.
In addition to YOU+, other youth apartments funded by Shunwei include Shanghai-based Yujian, which is dedicated to building a chain brand for long-term youth apartment rentals, and Wuhan-based Keyu Youth Apartment.
Hang around in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and one might very likely come across Mofang Apartments, a brand that has been established for over six years and has 100 Mofang “stores” (entire apartment buildings rented by the company) across 10 Chinese cities as of January.
Online real estate agents
Many online platforms providing real estate services have been popping up in recent years. Iwjw.com, which emerged in 2014, is a big player whose services cover 10 cities. It has completed five rounds of fundraising to date. Shunwei Capital participated in the recent three rounds. Iwjw.com, which provides second-hand apartment sales and also room rentals, uses PC and mobile platforms and also its own team of real estate agents, but unlike traditional agents, has no offline stores. 50% of its apartments are sourced directly from owners.
Others funded by Shunwei are Fangya, which acts as a matchmaker between property developers and brokers, and Uban.com, a representative of the newly-emerged office rental business, which rents office buildings out to corporate clients.
Besides close rivals including Fang.com and Anjuke, these online agents are also in competition with traditional agents such as Lianjia, which own many offline service centers and have now turned to setting up their own online platforms.
Online renovation platforms
iKongjian is an online renovation platform which has the alias of “Xiaomi Renovation”, not only in that it provides young people in the post-80s and post-90s generations with low-priced interior decoration and renovation services, but also because it has landed investments from Shunwei Capital in two rounds of financing. It has also tried to differentiate itself from traditional platforms with a commitment to ensure quality with a “transparent” process.
Other platforms that have secured funds from Shunwei Capital all have a specific focus. Liweijia, based in Chengdu, focuses on supplying customized furniture, while Shengong007, headquartered in Beijing, takes care of client’s needs for home maintenance, appliance instalment, repairs, and home decoration, etc.
Companies such as To8to and Meijiabang are also notable players in this field. And traditional renovation giants, with years of experience in this sector, are also entering the playground.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)