China’s Homelink to raise $1 bn from Baidu, Tencent


Beijing Homelink Real Estate Brokerage Co. is raising about $1 billion to expand its reach across China, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company, which focuses on rental and second-hand real estate transactions, has attracted funding from Chinese Internet giants including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc., said the people, who requested not to be named because the matter is private.
Homelink, which started its first physical store in Beijing in 2001, expanded to 5,000 outlets across 24 cities in China by October.
The company has also moved online to build a database that includes information on 56 million property units and expects transactions initiated on its platform to rise 67 percent to at least 1 trillion yuan ($154 billion) by 2017 from last year, according to a report by the state-run People’s Daily.
Homelink set up an online finance unit and lent about 300 million yuan worth of down payments through its online lending platform as of the end of February, the company said.
Wang Yiduo, a spokeswoman for Homelink, said the company is in the process of fundraising in a text message, declining to comment further. Canny Lo, a spokeswoman for Tencent, didn’t respond to an e-mailed query. Baidu declined to comment.
Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have contributed to a surge in venture deals in China.
The value of investments in the country more than doubled to $37 billion last year and hit $12.2 billion in the first quarter, according to London consultancy Preqin Ltd.

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