What happened: Alibaba’s fintech spinoff Ant Financial and NY-based investment firm Tiger Global Management invested $500 million in Danke Apartment, valuing the Chinese startup at nearly $2 billion. Danke targets young professionals for its co-living urban housing model, renovating and partitioning houses for three to four people in upmarket areas, and providing maintenance and cleaning services. It has properties in 10 major cities at present.
Why it’s important: China’s housing market has boomed in recent years due to speculative buying, especially in large urban centers like Beijing and Shanghai. Municipal governments struggle in major cities to provide affordable housing; the Beijing government recently promised 2,400 dorm rooms for delivery drivers. Danke aims to stabilize rental prices through AI-driven pricing, providing much-needed affordable housing and contractual transparency to fight predatory landlord practices. Competitors Ziroom and 5I5J use the same model, but Danke has by far secured the most funding.