Australian-Founded Chinese Real Estate Portal Juwai Seeks IPO

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Juwai.com, the international real estate portal based in Shanghai and Tokyo, will aim for an Australian listing within a year according to comments made by the company’s newly-minted CEO in Tokyo on Friday.

Charles Pittar said the company would be seeking new funds from institutional investors and strategic partners to fuel the upcoming IPO, which they expect to be completed by early 2017 at the latest.

The company is also close to announcing a new partnership in the Japanese market.

Juwai, which literally means “living abroad” is an online portal connecting Chinese buyers with foreign real estate brokers. The platform was founded in 2011 by Australian duo Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry. Australia is one of the markets seeing a massive influx of real estate investment from China over the past few years.

According to Mr. Pittar, who was the COO of Asia for Macquarie Bank before joining Juwai, the company’s clients usually look for properties between $500,000 USD and $1.5 million, which is in the lower end for high-prices metropolises like Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York.

The company claims to work with approximately 80,000 real estate brokers and agents and sources customers from 315 cities across China, with over 2.4 million property listings across 58 countries.

They now hope to use the freshly generated funding to attract new talent for their global operations.

Chinese outbound real estate investment has grown to $30 billion USD a year, according to a research done by Hong Kong-based real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Despite consistent growth, 2016 could see some disruption given recent economic turmoil and increased government scrutiny over capital outflow.